Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rethinking the Future: Skinput

If you think the iPad is the future, think again.

When we reported on Pranav Mistry on TED we thought we were still seeing a future and innovation that was years away, but today we read that it may not be so far into the future as we thought. Remember how Pranav Mistry took pictures using his fingers to form the lens, or how he used his wrist as a watch, or how he used his hand as a keypad and how he could project and manipulate images onto any surface ? His logic was to interact with technology directly and effectively scrap the keyboard, the mouse even the screen and enable humans to interact directly with technology. Removing the technology bottleneck

Now Chris Harrison, a PhD student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon and colleagues Desney Tan and Dan Morris from Microsoft Research, have taken this concept and created ‘Skinput’. The technology uses sensors to detect movement in the fingers and skin’s surface and recognise that as sound waves travel through soft tissue and joints they make many of the locations on the arm distinct. Software coupled with the sensors can detect the location, function and subtle movements with an accuracy of 95%.

The prototype’s sensors are currently enclosed in a bulky cuff but it is envisaged that this can be scaled down to the size of a wrist watch. So we could soon see an alternative to Pranav Mistry’s sixth sense and a camera, phone,connection to any device,a new display and games interface. Microsoft Research's involvement could indicate that thinks are closer than you may think.

We recommend you to watch both Pranav Mistry Ted presentation and the video below to see a future coming soon to you.

Click to read original report on Skinput and see a short video at BBC

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