Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Virtual touchpad lets you scroll in thin air

NewScientistTech - October 27, 2008, Devin Powell

The Apple iPhone's sexy touchscreen with its multi-touch commands has been a huge hit with the public, but such screens can only get so small before clunky fingers get in the way. So Microsoft is extending the concept of the touchscreen beyond the edges of the phone itself.

The company's researchers have developed a system called SideSight, which allows you to control a phone placed on a table by wiggling your fingers in the space around it.

The technology was unveiled last week at the User Interface in Software and Technology symposium in Monterey, California.

Alex Butler of the Sensors and Devices Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the UK lined the long sides of a phone with infrared sensors that can pick up the movement of fingers up to 10 centimetres away.

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