Who needs a screen anyway?

3 11 2011

ahah, the next big thing: interacting with data from a projected keypad on an uneven surface like …your forearm or the palm of your hand? The following post is a reprint of a blog post by (Oct 18th 2011)

Sometimes you just want to make notes on your forearm. Put that permanent marker down though, because PhD student Chris Harrison et al at Microsoft Research have created a new system that allows touchscreen interaction on hairy and uneven surfaces. It uses a short-range depth camera instead of the infrared sensor we’ve seen on similar devices, which allows it to gauge the viewing angle and other characteristics of surfaces being used — and it can even handle pinch-to-zoom. There’s a video after the break, if you fancy a bit of wall-based digital finger painting.

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/18/omnitouch-projection-interface-makes-the-world-your-touchscreen/

Ray Walters posted a similar article for ExtremeTech.com on the same day. Walters provides a better understanding on the technology by providing pictures of the OmniTouch projection device.  I particularly appreciated his comparison with the more discreet technology supplied by PocketTouch which provides user-tech interaction by allowing touch through cloth. (See http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/100413-microsoft-omnitouch-kinect-and-a-pico-projector-make-the-world-a-touchscreen)

Both technologies show promises, but I believe that they will become marketable once the UI is less conspicuous. In an age of nanotechnology, I suspect that it won’t take long for these devices to reach the label pin size.

 

What do you think?

 

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