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Using Magnets To Interact With Your Tablet 64

Posted by timothy
from the I-mostly-use-gravity-instead dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from MAKE's blog: "Tangible interface designer and inventor Andrea Bianchi, along with his colleague, Ian Oakley (University of Madeira / Carnegie Mellon Europe), have come with a novel approach to interacting with a mobile device. Using the magnetometer built into most modern smartphones, Bianchi and Oakley have created a series of tangible user interface demonstrations that go beyond what's achievable with capacitive touch displays."
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Using Magnets To Interact With Your Tablet

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  • It's 2012 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @01:18PM (#41819787)

    And we still don't know how they work...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by UnknownSoldier (67820)

      Uh, you DO realize that there is *infinite* knowledge right? ;-) That should not be interpreted as a negative, but as a positive -- we will ALWAYS have something neat to learn about the Universe and ourselves!

      Just because Scientist don't have a clue what causes gravity, causes magnetism, what happens when you travel faster then the speed of light, still ignorant of white holes, still haven't discovered the 2 remaining fundamental forces doesn't mean that someday we won't. As long as we are progressing towa

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Some clowns will never understand :)

      • by sithlord2 (261932)

        That should not be interpreted as a negative, but as a positive

        I see what you did there...
      • still haven't discovered the 2 remaining fundamental forces

        If you know for sure that there are exactly two of them, why do you call them undiscovered?

        • Because eventually they will be. :-)

          I say that for two reasons:

          First, history teaches us this.

          a) America was "discovered" by the Europeans even though there was _already_ natives living on it. From the POV of the natives America was "known", from the POV of of the Europeans it was "discovered."

          b) At one point the majority of people thought that the earth was flat. (Even some sailors knew this was total nonsense due to seeing a ship's mast way off in the distance; Eratosthenes estimated the circumference o

          • by Anonymous Coward

            You got all that from "Europeans discover American Indians"?

            • I am sorry you don't have basic reading comprehension skills. I was only using them as an _example_. I know many things about the past and future that have yet to be (re)discovered; I was simple explaining _why_ I use the term discovered.

      • "Uh, you DO realize that there is *infinite* knowledge right?"

        Hmmm. I wonder if that is the case actually. Seriously, IS the conjecture that there is infinite knowledge provable, or is it possible there is a finite but very large amount of potential knowable things.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Shove magnets up my dog's butt.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I thought the point of having a touch device was to get away from interface indirection through accessories?

  • Video Link (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The video in case it gets /.'ed
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BDqOXpkDoQ4 [youtube.com]

  • Can anyone suggest any sample apps that will make use of an internal magnetometer?
  • So we make touchscreens so we can use only our hands for natural interfaces....and then create things to put in our hands again?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In two years we'll all be using a stylus with a tiny touchpad on the end, and the tablet will balance on a trackball.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Quiet. You will give Apple and Idea and they will produce a product then patent a circus on a phone or on a tablet. Then all the geeks will demand on as soon as their old stuff gets 2 months old.

    • seems to have worked for Samsung Galaxy Note with the plastic stylus...
      • by arctus (2753027)
        That's right, I remember my mother-in-law saying she really wanted the Note for that exact reason.

        It'll be interesting to see if more physical interface/touchscreen options gain popularity.
      • seems to have worked for Samsung Galaxy Note with the plastic stylus...

        The multitude of companies making money selling cheap styluses for other android and apple touchscreen devices are also doing it.

        • by CCarrot (1562079)

          seems to have worked for Samsung Galaxy Note with the plastic stylus...

          The multitude of companies making money selling cheap styluses for other android and apple touchscreen devices are also doing it.

          Sure...if you like writing with a squishy crayon. I prefer my pens actually pointy, k thx.

      • How does the stylus work though? I've tried it on other devices and their touchscreens don't respond at all...
    • We can't have cool for the sake of cool. OK I can't think of any practical use. It doesn't mean there will never be one. Just shoing it can be done, allows for imitation to start on how to use it.

    • by arctus (2753027)
      I think I should have used a /sarcasm at the end of my post, it was mostly meant in humor. I think there's definitely potential, but you have to admit the irony here.
  • Fucking magnets, how do they work?
    • I think he's secretly Magneto. He's the only one I know of who can control electromagnetic field strength and direction, which is generally described by a field effect of electrical charges, both in motion (magnetic) and at rest (electric). Of course, Science may tell us something different, but the Marvel Universe and Science don't generally agree well. I'll take the Marvel Universe any day...
  • Space 1999 blew up the Moon with radioactive Fusion waste on the dark side and "Magnetic Radiation". Funny I know.. but there actually is an Oersted effect that influences the hemoglobin molecule in blood. We don't live within range of a Magnetar (Stellar Corpse with Teslas of magnetic energy) but you get the idea. A funny mental picture is "you" glued to your touch pad because you can't get your fingers off the magnet "surface".
  • by vigour (846429) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:01PM (#41821119)
    I used to use the magnetometer in my HTC Legend to measure the field outside a 5 T superconducting magnet. Of course I had proper magnetometers in the lab, but it was convenient being able to use my phone.
    Some of the relays in a device I used were very sensitive to magnetic fields, plus I didn't the HD in my laptop to get screwed up. It was linear up to +/- 2 mT which was enough for a solenoid type superconducting magnet (i.e. the normal kind), and it allowed me move my devices closer to the magnet, and shorten my cables.

    Very useful indeed.
  • "To get an idea of how strong those fields are, if you were 1,000 miles away, they could rip the iron from your blood," Palmer said, pausing briefly. "These things are best studied from a distance," he added. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/HealthandScience/LANL-scientists-seek-magnetars--secrets [santafenewmexican.com]
  • This is great for round based games. The magnets could be great input devices, but what about the loss of memory and inductive charging ?
  • I was brought up that magnets and displays don't go hand in hand. Of course, for most my life the displays were CRT based.

    So this is pretty cool, imo.

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