Originally Posted by The Saint
Actually, their advantage is being instantly reconfigurable via software, while their disadvantage, as I've mentioned twice already, is that there's no meaningful tactile feedback for differentiating one key from another or differentiating input areas from non-input areas without taking the user's visual focus away from information displays. You don't have to look at a conventional keyboard to orient your fingers on it or look at a physical switch, toggle or dial to know what position it's in. You do have to do that with virtualized control surfaces. I asked this already but I didn't see an answer from you:
Have you ever used a touch (or multitouch) interface you didn't have to look at?
The only reason for touch keyboards is that they look prettier. They're not only not more user-friendly, they're less user friendly.
Now as for touch or multi-touch displays, who says the ones on the classic TOS Enterprise can't have been that?
You are right about the touch screen not giving feedback but modern military consoles do use touch screen monitors for a large amount of their functions. They also have a conventional keyboard and a trackball. The keyboard is used for data entry. Most toggle switches, dials ext have become obsolete. Though on weapons consoles their is a set of switches for safety and firing of weapons. The military tries to get rid of most switches in jet fighters. The F-22 has like only a dozen switches in the cockpit and most of them deal with Landing Gear, Master arm switches for weapons, engines and on board fire suppression systems.