Microsoft LucidTouch Gives Touch Technology the 'Reach Around'

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

REDMOND, Wash. -- Touch technology is moving from the front of devices to their backsides. Patrick Baudisch showed off a new mobile interface known as LucidTouch that allows you to manipulate both the front and rear of various touchscreen devices.
"The key idea here is solving the so-called fat finger problem," he told me, referring to the fact that our fingers tend to obscure important graphical information -- especially on small screen touch devices. Of course, when you take touch technology to the back of devices, you potentially have the same problem if the shadow generated by your hand or fingers blocks the interface. Baudisch solved this problem by making the hand image semi-transparent.
As of now, LucidTouch can support up to 10 fingers simultaneously, as well as gestures. Ultimately, instead of using an awkwardly mounted webcam aimed at the back of your hand, Baudisch hopes to embed multiple tiny cameras in the back of the device itself to read movements.

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