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Old 15-05-2009, 21:08   #1
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Touchscreens - discuss the future

I'm currently working on a touchscreen product for my bosses to hit the market later in the year and think that they are natural and great for <20 inch displays.

However, using them for any period of time on larger displays becomes a real chore. What to do?

We want big displays, we want small hand gestures to control them because humans are really good at intricate hand gestures. Touchscreen != future happiness

I'm an electronics engineer by trade but now working in software and the solution(s) seem obvious to me

A 3d mouse per finger. Think thimbles or gloves and a charging cradle.

We could make a 1 cm x 0.5cm sensor using mems accelerometers and wireless today that gives a single finger the ability to act as a mouse pointer with slow accurate or faster non linear 'fuller screen' coverage. e.g freescale's 3 axis accelerometers.

Imagine a thimble which you could tap to click, move in x/y and even lift off the surface into Z ie 3 dimensional control. This is possible today and would cost a couple of dollars. Why haven't we got it?

Imagine that with several thimbles say left/right thumb/forefinger. Suddenly we have pushing and squeezing and all those fancy minority report/csi effects without the impracticality of having to wave your hands over a 50 inch display.


Thimbles with the sensors inside are all well and good, but have problems with powering them - e.g thimble cradles and weight of batteries inside them.

So next step would be simple lightweight passive metal 'blobs' on the fingertips and the 'smarts' and sensors on a magnetic sensor array and tracking software on the desk to locate several moving metallic objects on the desk above - I've a background in electromagnetics, radar and sonar so know that this isn't trivial but today's processors could figure out where 4 or 5 metallic objects are in the area above the sensor array.

mems magnetic sensor arrays embedded in a mouse mat equivalent are also dirt cheap and small - why haven't we got this.....

I WANT IT

Last edited by pip&pop; 15-05-2009 at 21:10.
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Old 15-05-2009, 21:25   #2
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You need to talk to professor Warwick he has the answer you're looking for
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Old 15-05-2009, 21:43   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian turner View Post
You need to talk to professor Warwick he has the answer you're looking for
A couple of ciders and a frustrating lack of my own entrepreneurial spirit....

I'll post anything

Mind you look back and I posted about 3D TV on consoles a couple of years ago...

Have a couple of other ideas too but am too fat and nerdy to do anything about them....

Imagine having a console controller wireless 'ball' per hand with a few buttons on it - one per finger. Able to figure out where its own movement in 3D.

(Replace ball with glove or thimbles if you want... )

The wii had it right with natural hand gestures etc but sucks with having to hold some rectangular object - the controller should be a natural extension of you/your fingers not some monstrous thing you hold on to.

We are dextrous and controllers should play to our natural finger movements.

Use one controller ball for player one/two, or two for fighting hand to hand or controlling more complex scenarios.

Also has a port to connect a stick for golfing, steering wheel, light sabre, controller charging. e.g. Two balls and a short stick between them as a steering wheel. One plus a passive long stick for golf, tennis, baseball.

joysticks and buttons need to be consigned to history and we need to get back to using our fingers to control things. Gestures, speed and acceleration are where the future of input devices should be...

One idea per thread... Must shut up now or get someone to help me take these things further...

Last edited by pip&pop; 15-05-2009 at 21:50.
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Old 15-05-2009, 21:56   #4
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take your pills and remember that the innovation that is the wii controllers dates back to 1985 at least with The Stick joystick based around mercury switches and the mouse was 15 years old at least before it entered the mainstream. Plus the current predominance of windows based operating systems means resistance to anything radically different plus gesture control is somewhat unfriendly to anyone with motor skills problems.
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