NEW DELHI: While touch screen devices
are increasing in popularity, the small screen sizes are proving to be a problem
because users’ fingers block the graphical elements he wishes to work
with. Now, a US researcher at Microsoft has created an interface that gives the
user a semi-transparent view of the device, thus providing easier
Researcher Patrick Baudisch demonstrated his
‘LucidTouch’ technology at TechFest, Microsoft’s annual
display of experimental technology in Redmond on Tuesday.
allows users of touch-screen devices, such as GPS units or mobile phones, to
perform operations from behind the device, so their actions do not block their
view of the display.
The device currently uses a camera mounted
behind the unit; but the researcher is planning to integrate the necessary
sensors into the back panel.
“The key to making this usable is
what we call pseudo-transparency,” said Baudisch. “By overlaying an
image of the user’s hands onto the screen, we create the illusion of the
mobile device itself being semi-transparent. This pseudo-transparency allows
users to accurately acquire targets while not occluding the screen with their
fingers and hand.
LucidTouch also supports multi-touch input,
allowing users to operate the device simultaneously with all 10 fingers.
Baudisch envisions myriad uses for the device, from navigation tools
and personal computing to graphic design and video games. For instance, gamers
can control multiple units in a strategy game. Two gamers may put the tablet
between them and each play one side in a sports game.
year’s Techfest, forty new technologies were displayed, showing how
computing enables new experiences and how the basic tools of computer science
are evolving to help all sciences advance more rapidly.