A Virtual Letterpress?

Yesterday I came across a new Kickstarter project for a virtual letterpress application for the iPad.
I temporarily reserved judgement and played the ‘pitch’ video. What I found out was the team behind the project is spending a lot of time creating a beautifully detailed and ‘realistic’ application that lets anyone “create authentic-looking letterpress designs and prints.” The application recreates the whole letterpress process – from setting type to inking type, to rolling a paper-covered drum.
While I love seeing creative people creating great products, is this the best use of multitouch tablets? Recreating all the things we knew and loved in our analogue world (but didn’t realize at the time)?
What’s next, bringing back the rotary phone dial?
I’m confident to say this is just a phase in the trajectory of computer interfaces. It’s inevitable the touch screens of tomorrow will be more responsive and reactive to the user, that is until we no longer have visible interfaces. We’re seeing this happen right now with Microsoft’s Kinect and the subsequent hacks people have made for it.
The lesson here is to find new ways to solve problems, don’t port old processes into new paradigms.

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