Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Input Devices Microsoft Technology

CMU Researchers Create Multitouch Surface Anywhere 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-can-it-talk-like-a-parrot dept.
tekgoblin writes "In a joint effort between Microsoft and the Carnegie Mellon Human Computer Interaction Institute, a new interface has been born. The new interface is usable on any surface, including notebooks, tables, walls and body parts. The UI is completely multitouch and worn on the shoulder, which will turn any surface you are pointing at into a usable workspace by the combination of a projector and a 3D modeling device similar to the Kinect."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

CMU Researchers Create Multitouch Surface Anywhere

Comments Filter:
  • hm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lockyy (2486084) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @04:27AM (#37747874)
    I'm pretty sure I saw this absolutely ages ago. It was an open source project so you could do it yourself and it was just a projector and a camera on a thing around your neck. The video had them playing a racing game on a piece of paper, they turned the car by tilting the paper. In fact, I'm going to find an article. http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/02/ted-digital-six/ [wired.com] There, already done by MIT.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is completely different. You wear it on your shoulder - NOT around your neck. And you no longer need to wear colored caps on your finger tips.

      • by Lockyy (2486084)
        Changing the location of the camera doesn't exactly make it completely different .The lack of a need for finger caps is nice, but that purely means it's a refinement of an existing piece of technology. The slashdot summary just made it out like a completely new idea when it's already been done. I admit, it's a great piece of tech and a much needed advancement from what was done at MIT but it's not a new interface being born.
        • I saw something like this from Nokias research guys last fall in Amsterdam Symbian conference. They didn't have it mounted on the shoulder predator style and it was running on a Symbian phone so I guess it's not as cool... Can't find a link for it...
          • by migla (1099771)

            Y'all are missing the point. The key word here is anywhere. That means it will work inside the core of the sun (or whichever part is the hottest). Now that's an achievement!

      • Lemme guess, you're a patent examiner?

      • by nomel (244635)

        The colored finger tip caps let you do something that's computationally simple, like blob detection....so, they were more of an indicator of non-programmable gpus and relatively slow cpus at the time. You pretty much need a programmable gpu to do it real-time without blobs, and those only partially existed, using shader language hacks, before the modern video cards that support CUDA and openCL.

    • by neokushan (932374)

      And I'm pretty sure when apple releases a similar device in a few years time, people will think they invented it, too.

      • And I'm pretty sure when apple releases a similar device in a few years time, people will think they invented it, too.

        Why not, the MS fanbois did too:
        http://what-is-what.com/what_is/microsoft_surface.html [what-is-what.com]

        The problem is that MS gives it's products very generic names (Office, Media Player) and therefore hijacks the terms. How many people know that _other_ office suits even exist? Surface, isn't that a Microsoft innovation?

        • by neokushan (932374)

          The point I was trying to make (possibly rather poorly) was that whomever invented it tends to get overshadowed by whomever makes it popular

        • I got one of my relatives an iPad, and while she was showing it off to her friends, the Microsoft surface came up, so I had them watch the youtube parody [youtube.com] using the iPad

          They thought the table was a great idea. Despite watching an unflattering parody video about it, on a device that already has a fairly large screen and a multi-touch interface and which fits in a backpack.

      • ...people will think they invented it, too.

        Perfect opportunity to sue Samsung when they release it.

        Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on...

      • it's going to be called the iSuck
    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      They also did it with Wii-motes.
  • After all those GPS-tagging and 2D barcodes there finally is an AR idea that's actually useful. If they could design this into a convenient headgear that would be awesome.

    • by jhoegl (638955)
      I was actually envisioning the Sci-Fi stuff where soldiers have camera type devices on their shoulders, on top of their armor.

      You know what is the potential cooler part of this? Successful implementation for the blind.
  • by X.25 (255792) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @04:38AM (#37747916)

    Now we just have to wait for Apple to patent the concept of using this on a rectangular surface with rounded edges.

    And in courts, whoever owns this technological patent would probably lose, while whoever patented a design that uses this invention would win.

    I am getting lost.

  • Ahh, so the Predator was just looking for a good surface to use for multitouch all along. Poor misunderstood Predator.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm gonna turn every person i meet into a live3d interactive porn display surface!

    Only viewable with the goggles... That finally do something.

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @04:50AM (#37747948)

    I can see this having many cool applications (if only because it has a very good built in camera system, and a projector).

    But I cannot see myself on a train, working for an hour literally on the back of my hand. I would probably still want a flat, white, sturdy surface to work on.
    And... isn't a keyboard + mouse a million times cheaper than a projector + motion detection?

    • But I cannot see myself on a train, working for an hour literally on the back of my hand. I would probably still want a flat, white, sturdy surface to work on.

      You see, that would be the back of _my_ hand!

    • by miknix (1047580) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @06:04AM (#37748232) Homepage

      http://www.pranavmistry.com/projects/sixthsense/ [pranavmistry.com]

      'SixthSense' is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.

      There was also a TED talk about it. If you haven't seen it yet, you should, it is very inspiring and futuristic.

      So yeah, another slow news day?

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      they see projector and motion detection being cheaper - as in less plastic - in the long run.

      real problem is that it doesn't really make the computer output any better from the individual. like the minority report ui. sure it would be nice to watch some hot babe use it.. but it's an awful, awful ui for doing the work.

      next up: crayons and cubicle walls are the new excel.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by angel'o'sphere (80593)

        real problem is that it doesn't really make the computer output any better from the individual. like the minority report ui. sure it would be nice to watch some hot babe use it.. but it's an awful, awful ui for doing the work.

        You say that based on what experiece?
        I'm working in a "data center" right now.
        Most people here have a desk that can be "lifted" so you can work with your computer while standing. Everyone has 2 or more screens.
        Everyone is more or less working on the production environment, the prelife/

    • by hajile (2457040)
      The best things in life are already multi-touch. *winks*
  • Here for the "any surface you are pointing at" comments.

  • Microsoft's page about this project [microsoft.com] also discusses "Pocket Touch", a capacitive touch panel's that's designed to work through clothing. The idea is that you could have a touch panel on the back of your phone (or whatever) that could respond to gestures while it's still in your pocket.

  • I would love to see a wrap around work surface, that rolls up at the back and is translucent. A series of projectors below, project images onto the bottom of the work space. A camera above watches your hands. On the great big beautiful work surface, everything is multi-touch sensitive. Everything is accessible and can be managed by a wide selection of interactive models (everything from 3D mind-maps to a typical business desktop, and a hundred other working interfaces.) In fact depending on the task at hand

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @05:19AM (#37748050)
    Yes, I want to trade in my 2000 dpi mouse for my clunky index finger that probably shakes more than the entire traverse of my mouse every time my heart beats. Please.
  • I don't understand why you have to use a sensor for gesture recognition to re-invent the touch screen (I suggest this link where you can find a lot of opensource applications http://arena.openni.org/ [openni.org]). Maybe it is time to re-think the concept of human-computer interaction considering the idea of using gesture to control an electronic device.
  • I thought a multi-touch device sitting on your shoulder would be called Polly-Touch!
  • The real question remains- can it be used for porn? Bam. Millions of sales... and the world grows slightly sadder.
  • The application to body parts raises sensitive questions.
  • Pranav Mistry at MIT Media Lab demonstrated something similar at a TED talk in 2009 [ted.com]. His was slung about the neck. He and his advisor, Pattie Maes, called it Sixth Sense.
  • I'll probably get immediately modded down but this is the sort of thing that Apple (Steve Jobs) could've taken and cleaned up to make into something not just usable but something people WANT to use.

    Unfortunately, in the hands of Microsoft it'll languish and maybe come out as some minor curiosity like Microsoft Surface.

    So sad.

    Anyway, it'd be nice if, as the hardware evolves, they could put the camera and projector in a users glasses. Not only would it make it less dorky but there would be much less shadowin

  • I'll wait till the version with 3 dots and the little missiles comes out.
  • ... for those who like to touch themselves!
  • The UI is completely multitouch and worn on the shoulder, which will turn any surface you are pointing at into a usable workspace by the combination of a projector and a 3D modeling device similar to the Kinect.

    Please let me set the default cursor to three little red dots [imdb.com].

  • All well and good, but just don't try pointing at any surface that might happen to be black with rounded corners.

    Phillip.

  • too bad they don't own patents on what will likely become common gestures.
  • by MrBandersnatch (544818) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @09:42AM (#37749836)

    for my masters, but sadly without the advantages of having access to a custom PrimeSense camera (I had initially looked at the kinect but the 50cm minimum range makes things rather awkward). Lordy, I'm almost embarrassed at how primitive what I'm working on is in comparison to this piece of work (in my defence though, part-time, unfunded student, and its a HCI rather than comp-sci oriented masters).

    This is fantastic stuff since THE primary problem I'm seeing in creating any usable interaction from Wearable Gestural Interfaces such as this is in getting accurate and reliable computer vision techniques working to detect finger/hand positioning. Time of flight cameras solve this of course and shoulder mounting, although it looks strange, is actually a very good use of the body for placement since its an area that is seldom obstructed and relatively safe from being knocked when moving around. Personally, where I see this evolving is so that devices such as these end up being similar to large closed-cup headphones that you wear around your neck - does saying that make the concept prior art? *grin*

    So I guess I'd better ensure this one makes it into my lit review...luckily I'm looking at something slightly different since my focus is primarily on the use of in air gestures for command and control and the projector is really secondary....but damn it would have been nice to have access to some of the underlying depth sensing tech.

    Oh http://os6sense.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] if anyone is interested

  • a little lens, maybe mounted over one of my eyes. And if that lens also shot red laser beams well then I think we'd have a product.

  • It was a virtual keyboard on any surface implemented by lasers. This could be readily generalized to multi-touch I presume.

    This opens the possibility of much smaller mobile computing devices if you dont need a physical screen, but just a laser port or two. That could fit in a ring, watch, keychain, etc.
  • I see a great future for this technology in the porn industry and in strip clubs.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

Working...