|No touch control for touch-screen devices?|
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 10:03
Imagine being able to type an SMS on your touch-screen device without actually putting a finger or stylus to its screen or any other part of the device.
While a no-hands-on touch-screen might seem like a far-fetched and downright contradictory idea, it could become a reality in the not-so-distant future. A team of Japanese researchers, led by Masatoshi Ishikawa, a professor at the University of Tokyo, has developed a concept controller which will enable users to control a pointer on a touch-screen cellphone by simply moving their fingers in the air.
The 3D input interface system contains a high-frame rate, mini camera that can shoot up to 154 pictures per second. The camera records vertical and horizontal finger movements, while an image processing chip senses distance away from the lens and can therefore determine whether the fingers are moving backward or forward.
So if users want to, for example, turn the page of an e-book, they will simply flick a finger in mid-air. If they want to click on the image on screen, or type on the virtual keyboard, they simply make a tapping motion towards the lens of the camera. Users can also expand the image on the screen by moving their finger towards the display, or make it rotate by moving their finger in a circle. To see exactly how it works, watch the demonstration video on YouTube.
While it only remains a concept for now, the researchers say the technology will be especially handy for 3D applications on mobile devices and they hope to eventually commercialise it and market it to makers of 3D software and 3D hardware.
If manufacturers become sold on the idea, the future of touch-screen devices could become decidedly smudge-free.
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