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Will Your Next Touchscreen Be Touchless?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the control-the-spread-of-cooties dept.

Displays 121

forgot_my_username writes "The MIT Media Lab is developing a motion screen computer. It looks back at you. It measures light and gestures, and uses those to control the interface. 'Imagine every pixel on your LCD screen emitting light could also be receiving light,' said Ramesh Rakar, an Associate Professor at the Media Lab. They even mention the health benefits of not touching displays."

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I prefer my mouse. (3, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657068)

I can use my computer without barely moving at all. It's the perfect tool for my lazy self. ;-)

Re:I prefer my mouse. (3, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657138)

Just think, with this no-touch screen, sitting infuriatingly still becomes a requirement for your computer to continue doing what it was doing.

I feel a sneeze coming on... (2, Funny)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659452)

Just think, with this no-touch screen, sitting infuriatingly still becomes a requirement for your computer to continue doing what it was doing.

Aahhh aaahh AHHH ACHOOO!

You have just motioned that you want to reformat your D partition. Is this correct?

"What?! No I didn't!!"

You nose appears to be pointing towards the YES button and your emphatic gestures indicate the CLICK action. Formatting now.....

Re:I prefer my mouse. (2, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657148)

The bandwith of 10 fingers is a lot higher than a mouse with just one pointer and a few buttons. You can potentially transmit a lot more instructions in a lot less time using your hands, if only we figured out a proper way to make it work.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (4, Insightful)

sslayer (968948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657616)

The bandwith of 10 fingers is a lot higher than a mouse with just one pointer and a few buttons. You can potentially transmit a lot more instructions in a lot less time using your hands, if only we figured out a proper way to make it work.

Yes, but it already exists: it's called a keyboard.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659198)

Actually, I'm processor-bound in terms of 10 finger bandwidth. I type faster than I think. Sometimes, when I've had too much coffee, I'm bus-bound instead.

...and he doesn't type that fast! lolrotflhahawtfbbq1!! hilarious. didn't see that coming at. all.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657620)

>>>The bandwith of 10 fingers is a lot higher than a mouse

You mean like a keyboard? Yeah they perfected that technology back in the 70s with TRS-80s (#1 computer at the time), Apple IIs, and Atari 400/800s which replaced previous toggle-switched computers with a 10-finger interface where you could type words directly on a CRT! (or TV). It was a great advancement in personal computers.

The problem with that 10-finger interface was the high learning curve which made people have to memorize all kinds of esoteric commands and key strokes, or constantly refer to a manual (Alt E == create text box in Word for DOS). The simplicity of the mouse was found to be better.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657702)

You mean like a keyboard?

No, I mean like 10 mouse pointers.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657766)

No, I mean like 10 mouse pointers.

Although at present, it's 10 mice with a single button, that only transmit position data when the button is held down.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658070)

> The simplicity of the mouse was found to be better.

Yeah? Unplug your keyboard and use the computer with just a mouse for a week, then we'll talk.

Having *both* is better, but if you have to pick one, the keyboard is way more important than the mouse for almost all common computing tasks (image editing being a possible exception).

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658726)

(image editing being a possible exception)

Psh, real graphic designers do all their image editing from a CLI using ImageMagick.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659298)

(image editing being a possible exception)

Psh, real graphic designers do all their image editing from a CLI using ImageMagick.

No, real graphic designers do all their image editing with a hex editor directly on the file.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

BassMan449 (1356143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659808)

No, real graphic designers use butterflies. XKCD [xkcd.com]

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658152)

I would not have both "perfected that technology" and "Atari 400/800" in the same sentence when referring to keyboards unless there was some kind of negation involved. That plastic membrane keyboard was, ummm, bad.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658688)

Good point. So use the Atari 800 instead. I remember reading Atari Age about the new XL machines - I thought they were beautiful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atari_800XL_Plain_White.jpg [wikipedia.org] But my parents decided to buy the Commodore Plus/4 instead due to the built-in word processor.

It died a year later due to power supply problems, and Commodore was kind enough to give all Plus/4 owners a shiny new 128.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657722)

Yes, and the hardware needs to be reasonably widespread before the hot-shot UI designers work out how best to use it.

I thought pinch zoom/rotate was inspired when I first saw it, but I think we've only scratched the surface (heh) of what intuitive interfaces can be achieved with multitouch. Add pressure sensitivity and the palette becomes so much richer.

I think if you could somehow make the 1cm in front of your screen something you can interact directly with would be great - giving you 'hover' semantics on top of touch and pressure.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (2, Insightful)

bynary (827120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658036)

...giving you 'hover' semantics on top of touch and pressure.

How much more energy does it take to keep something hovering over a surface as compared to landing said something on the surface? I would imagine that fatigue (of the fingers, hands, forearms, and etc.) would be a much bigger problem should non-touch, gesture based navigation become widespread. Right now it's our wrists, imagine waving your arms in the air for 6 to 8 hours a day.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (2, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658068)

Obviously making your screen the touch surface will never work, for exactly the reason you give. But that doesn't mean that the touch technology itself couldn't work for a desktop computer.

Look at this [10gui.com] for example.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31659860)

Wow, an animated demo done by a graphic designer. Surely, graphic designers have more insight into how computers should work than anyone else, they make all those snazzy interfaces for movies!

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657884)

Obligatory Back to the Future II quote:

Video Game Boy #1: You mean you have to use your hands?

Video Game Boy #2: That's like a baby's toy!

Re:I prefer my mouse. (5, Insightful)

buruonbrails (1247370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657178)

I prefer the keyboard. It's still the most effective input method and the fastest way to manage your computer and smartphone (provided you learned the hotkeys and commands).

Re:I prefer my mouse. (2, Insightful)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657362)

I wish websites would understand this. I can actually input text that is not my name or address. I don't want to click click click. I want to click, type or better yet tab then type for input. For instance, the idea of navigation is so ingrained than typing the word "pass" to get to the password features has been replaced with "search screen for place to click, now click, now click again, once more, now type".

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657666)

You could use TAB to jump from one input box to another.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657746)

Sure, except many websites don't handle tabs in a sane manner. Some end up jumping to different input fields seemingly at random, some move from an input field to the little "What's this?" link next to that input field, some move to some completely unrelated link, or to the submit button even though you're only halfway through the form, or any number of zany things. If websites were designed properly, keyboard shortcuts like tab would work as intended. Too bad so few websites are designed with anyone but an IE 8 user (with Flash player and unlimited bandwidth) clicking a mouse in mind.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659190)

Sure, except many websites don't handle tabs in a sane manner. Some end up jumping to different input fields seemingly at random, some move from an input field to the little "What's this?" link next to that input field, some move to some completely unrelated link, or to the submit button even though you're only halfway through the form, or any number of zany things. If websites were designed properly, keyboard shortcuts like tab would work as intended. Too bad so few websites are designed with anyone but an IE 8 user (with Flash player and unlimited bandwidth) clicking a mouse in mind.

Tab order is completely optional in HTML. If you don't specify it, the tab order goes from top to bottom, left to right in the current container. This is why it highlights the "What's this?" link after the textbox... because it's supposed to do that, as per specs.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

BassMan449 (1356143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659822)

Tab order may be optional in the spec, but the laws of user experience dictate you specify a sane tab order.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658320)

Yes I understand that. What I really meant was the focus on visual cues using icons and links in place of an input text area. I'd love to type in "cinema" to a text box than drag down a drop down menu with 100 different categories. Just one example of where the keyboard is overlooked in favor of the mouse. I'm not a UI expert though so maybe I'm completely off. They try to water everything down to pictures and clicks it seems.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657760)

I wish websites would understand this.

Some already do. Almost any ecommerce site, and many 'support/help' sections will redirect based on specific searches. What you want to know is what they are, and for them to more often to support account function queries.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657624)

I prefer the keyboard. It's still the most effective input method and the fastest way to manage your computer and smartphone (provided you learned the hotkeys and commands)

That entirely depends what you're doing. If you're drawing a picture, the keyboard is usually a terrible interface

Even when there are exceptional cases -- for example, I've not found a better way to produce sequence diagrams than the text-driven http://www.websequencediagrams.com/ [websequencediagrams.com] -- you can hypothesise a nicer interface based on touching/clicking and dragging.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658658)

Personally, I prefer to use the best task for the job. I launch programs with the run prompt, navigate websites with the mouse, enter data into forms with the keyboard, manage small numbers of files spatially, and manage large numbers of files using commands.

You could use a hammer for everything, and save yourself the trouble of learning how to use multiple tools efficiently. It's certainly less work in the short term. Plus you provide everyone else with schadenfreude when you try to select a large subset of files with the mouse, or try to type out excessively long filenames with the keyboard.

For terminal lovers: I'm well aware of, and make much use of tab autocompletion. It doesn't work in all situations, and, even when it does, the mouse is a more efficient approach for certain common tasks.

Re:I prefer my mouse. (1)

MpVpRb (1423381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658814)

A touchscreen leads to smudging your screen, while picking the wrong menu choice and getting your arm tired.

Wonder why anybody likes them?

Good for the hearing-impaired (1)

Tony (765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657098)

This'll be great for the hearing-impaired. We're all gonna have to learn sign language to interact with our computers.

Re:Good for the hearing-impaired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31657228)

its called "keyboard"

Re:Good for the hearing-impaired (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659546)

This was a concept that my writer friend had in the books I helped with. It continued through the fan fiction and now he is using it in his new series.

In the first books, people walked around typing in the air, not paying any attention to others while looking through the transparent displays in their glasses (gogs) and listening to their earbuds.

I moved the displays to contacts in a story I wrote, then John made the contact displays interactive with the virtual keyboards or with eye movements.

Did not really think of the hearing-impaired angle, we were all looking at it like the way people talk into their earbuds now and look strange, but even stranger in the future.

Re:Good for the hearing-impaired (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659926)

That comment pushes me to the off topic thought that it is a travesty that more schools don't offer sign language as a foreign language. Learning a second spoken language is basically only useful for talking to people who don't speak the same language as you. On a day to day basis, this is only useful for a small percentage of the population. Sign language on the other hand, would (just like a spoken second language) let you talk to other people who only spoke that language, but it would also be useful for people who spoke the same primary language. How many times have you tried to talk to someone that is on the other side of a window, in a place so noisy that you cannot easily hear what the other person is saying, or were in a place where you wanted to say something, but didn't want to make sound? It doesn't happen to me every day, but I run into cases where any speech is difficult more often than I run into cases where the language is the barrier.

Even if there was not a single deaf person on the planet, sign language would STILL be a more useful second language than French, yet every school I ever went to that offer foreign languages taught French, and not one taught Sign.

Calibration (5, Funny)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657124)

I hope there's a sensitivity calibration - I wouldn't want me shaking my fist at an outrageous story inadvertently reformatting my hard drive.

Re:Calibration (2, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657468)

"shaking your fist at an outrageous story" should be done UNDER the desk.

Re:Calibration (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657960)

Or a scowl sends off a nasty email to an ex-girlfriend. What am I kidding? This is slashdot. That will never happen.

Re:Calibration (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658182)

I hope there's a sensitivity calibration - I wouldn't want me shaking my fist at an outrageous story inadvertently reformatting my hard drive.

I can just see the next greasemonkey script for firefox. If fist is shaken, run getoffmylawn.js...

Apple has a better patent already (0, Redundant)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657142)

Apple already has a patent on LCD screens with integrated image sensors [engadget.com] . Pretty sure that works based on the reflection of light, too, and it would do more than just detect gestures.

Re:Apple has a better patent already (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658326)

...and it would do more than just detect gestures.

Like lighten your wallet and provide an artificial sense of self-worth?

Re:Apple has a better patent already (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659514)

Like lighten your wallet and provide an artificial sense of self-worth?

You can get that with a sticker but they don't yet know how to charge you $500 for it.

First health benefit: (1)

Nov Voc (1619289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657162)

No more Cheetos-fingers when a friend asks for computer help and you don't insist on using your own mouse/keyboard... *shudders* Though orange cheddar powder is always one of the better "mystery coatings".

Yakov (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657164)

In America, you watch television. In Soviet Russia, television watches YOU!

this (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657458)

Seriously, who wants their screen to be a camera, wouldn't a camera be able to do the same - only more cheaply.

Also, Gorilla Arm.

Re:this (2, Interesting)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657674)

I wouldn't mind it being a camera, just for the simple fact that then I could video conference and have it look like I'm actually looking at the person, instead of the screen BELOW (or above) the camera.

Just wait... (3, Interesting)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657676)

I've seen a concept of this once where the screen was what they called a 'surface camera' I think. The idea was that you can use it as webcam, input device but also as a scanner... you just put a piece of paper against your screen and you have an instant copy you can edit. And i can imagine they could also extend this with an infrared pen or something like that to create a touchscreen that can also be used as a high-resolution drawing tablet. Just wait until Wacom builds a screen with tech like this and people will go crazy for it.

Re:Just wait... (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659820)

And we'll finally have to let go of a classic tech support phone call. No more mocking the secretary with the piece of paper held to the screen.

Oh well, we'll always have cupholders.

Now the idea of extending it to include a light stylus... THAT I like. I don't think that was mentioned in the Apple patent. Make it a diode laser in the stylus and you could get the focus down tight enough to be per-pixel accurate. That sounds very useful.

Might not be necessary to include a light in the stylus at all. Image analysis could probably detect a stylus tip pretty easily. A touch screen that's not actually touch sensitive. Sounds useful. Less likely to break or drift out of calibration than actual touch screen systems.

Too bad about the patent.

Why do researchers (1)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657170)

Hate tactile feedback?

Re:Why do researchers (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657382)

Tactile feedback does not sell new technology. What's more, waving your hands about in front of the screen is absolutely certain to be less confusing to your average computer user than a keyboard and mouse, which are more or less clearly labeled. We already have trouble with locating the 'any' key. There is no telling what kind of issues this technology might bring.

Tech support: ok, ma'am, slow down, just tell me what happened and we'll get this problem sorted out.
Customer: Well, I was reading email when my sister phoned. We were talking away when the next thing I know, the screen on my computer was all jumbled up with funny letters, and now I can't find any of my emails. They're all GONE.
Tech support: Ms Bonneti, do you and your sister talk with your hands?
Customer: What does that have to do with anything?

click.....

Re:Why do researchers (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658246)

Claiming buttons are good does not publish any papers; everyone knows this. If you claim some kind of button substitute is good, you can publish two papers. One making the claim and then another comparing it with buttons in a user study and showing that, actually, buttons are better. If you're really clever, you can then publish a third paper on the methodology for evaluating button substitutes, and a fourth paper on potential problems with future button replacements. Guess which route academics prefer.

Pah... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657176)

"The MIT media lab. is developing a motion screen computer. It looks back at you."

They had such babies twenty six years ago...

Re:Pah... (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657904)

Not only that, they were first conceived 62 years ago!

Re:Pah... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658264)

Conceived 62 years ago, babies 26 years ago - that's one hell of a gestation period!

Re:Pah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31658426)

2010 - 62 = 1948. That's when 1984 was written. Think telescreen.

Yeah, I know. Whoosh.

Ooh... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657188)

Forget this "touchless touchscreen" nonsense. Combine this with the various clever stuff being done in lenseless digital imaging, and we will finally achieve the dream... A Telescreen in every house.

Look for it in the next dubiously compatible revision of HDMI: "Secure audience reporting protocol" an HDMI spec extension allowing your TV to report the number and approximate demographics of viewers to your Blu-ray device or cable STB. Pay-per view programs can now control the number of viewers, V-chip 2 can now detect child-size viewers and automatically halt display of R-rated content(sorry midgets, its for the good of the children)! Neilson will be completely obsolete!

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Ooh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31658172)

Modded as funny (and it is) but this idea is still close enough to the realm of possibility to be a little disturbing.

1984's vidscreens were like that if memory serves. And you can imagine the uses for the cable companies. And undoubtedly we'll give up another measure of privacy in exchange for a $5/month discount.

Re:Ooh... (2, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659312)

1984's vidscreens were like that if memory serves.

*whoosh*

Re:Ooh... (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659134)

And mirrors will become "Digital Circumvention Tools"...

Re:Ooh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31659734)

I was just thinking about that; "'Imagine every pixel on your LCD screen emitting light could also be receiving light,'" sounds an awful lot like a telescreen.

what ever happended to "vocie recognition"? (1, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657202)

That seems like the obvious way to interact verbally with the computer. At least for parts of applications where you are selecting or entering text.
Touch and gesture has its niches for visual information, where pointing is more succinct than talking or typing about the action.

APIs for both systems are necessary.

Re:what ever happended to "vocie recognition"? (2, Informative)

netsavior (627338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657628)

have you ever worked in a cubicle next to a sales person? When they "rightsized" our department they relocated us to in-between a call-center and a sales floor. It was pure hell people yammering on at the telephone alllll day. Now add to that everyone also yelling shit at their computers, and see how much productivity you gain.

If it won't work for business, it will never catch on.

Now how about voice control for home? Will it work while I watch a movie? because I never game without a movie or at least loud music playing in the same room...


If it won't work for games, it will never catch on.

The holy grail for user interface MUST be silent or close to it, in order to catch on fully. This is why people keep trying stupid alternatives, because the reality is that the "obvious" ones are actually just as bad as the "silly" ones.

That's it exactly (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658198)

I think I would slit my wrists if I had to work in an office where everyone spent all day talking to their computers rather than typing and/or mousing to communicate with them. There's a reason people don't work that way, and it's not the technology (which is pretty much there now). It's that people don't want that much yammering going on all the time.

Re:what ever happended to "vocie recognition"? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658518)

I tried out the voice activation on my new netbook just this past Saturday, and the first thing I discovered was it won't work when the TV is on. So much for using it at Felber's with all the noisy drunks, except maybe outside in the beer garden.

Re:what ever happended to "vocie recognition"? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657672)

Voice recognition isn't mature yet. Just look at Youtube videos, it has an error in every line. I prefer to simply write the stuff instead of having to correct it afterwords.

Did you see the Vista speech recognition demo? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659400)

Dear Aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.

Video Link [youtube.com]

Health Benefits (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657254)

They even mention the health benefits of not touching displays.

Especially for my co-workers. The last one who touched my display got stabbed in the hand by a spork.

It looks back at you? (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657286)

The MIT media lab. is developing a motion screen computer. It looks back at you.

What are you doing, Dave?

Re:It looks back at you? (1)

freedomischaos (1589885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658838)

Oh nothing really, Big Brother.

Project website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31657302)

http://web.media.mit.edu/~mhirsch/bidi/

Sounds familiar... (3, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657304)

How many fingers do you see, Winston?

Re:Sounds familiar... (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658146)

There is one. Does it matter which?

Re:Sounds familiar... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658300)

I see six.

Obligitory H2G2 (5, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657364)

A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wavebands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive — you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.

....

Another voice broke in, presumably Halfrunt. He said: "Vell, Zaphod's jist zis guy you know?" but got no further because an electric pencil flew across the cabin and through the radio's on/off sensitive airspace. Zaphod turned and glared at Trillian — she had thrown the pencil.

This could be bad for pron (2, Funny)

forgot_my_username (1553781) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657392)

Hypothetically, if I knew someone who may have at one point or another visited a site with risque adult material....
well, I see potential interface issues
...
right, I am off to register touchlessporntube.com

Re:This could be bad for pron (2, Insightful)

disi (1465053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657482)

Right, I remember this one scene in the movie Minority Report where they move pictures along on a big glass-screen. Try to do this kind of stuff on a touchscreen...

Need new gestures to be invented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31657470)

Whole slew of new gestures to be invented and patented!

Wait a minute, I have one already.. (gestures) Fsck you! (c) [patent pending]

This is the first step toward "eye focus" ads (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657484)

Get the public used to the idea of computer vision input for everyday tasks, and suddenly adware starts including drivers for the cameras (just in case you forgot to install the drivers yourself).
"People seem to keep looking at the upper right hand corner of the ad window. Move most of the content there, and the subliminal content to the bottom. Horizontal mirror image for Mac OS X and Ubuntu 10.4"

Re:This is the first step toward "eye focus" ads (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659724)

Oh my god, kill it with fire. Who the hell modded this interesting. Mod it TROLL! Anything to prevent the marketing monkeys seeing it. Mod it into oblivion!

Fortunately Adblock Plus should still be able to kill the audience-aware ads...

Really - I just was glancing at those Boobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31657522)

No need to auto-zoom in....

Quotes (1)

globalsnake (1345027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657570)

Anyone know if the quotes are set up so that the individual sheep read them, or are they the torture of the day.

Nietzche Monitor (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657632)

So is the first Nietzsche 30" Hi-Color Monitor?

It would be a great ad campaign... just a black and white screen and the words slowly fade in: "When you stare into the monitor the monitor stares back at you."

Then a picture of the monitor and in the background the crushed carcasses of all the other monitors competing with it.

apple patented this a few years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31657690)

I thought apple had a patent like this back in around 2005~2006 where there were sensors for every pixel that acted like a camera. I remember reading it on engadget but nobody knew what that patent was really about.

Sanitary... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657720)

Since /. is a IT oriented site, and this story makes a comment like

"They even mention the health benefits of not touching displays."

I wouldn't mind a solution that solves the sanitary benefits of getting rid of hand scanners. I'm sorry, but I work in a colo, and there's a hand scanner next to the badge reader (you scan you badge, then your hand and the first door from security to the datacenter opens up). I carry a tube of hand sanitizer because I have no interest in following 500 people with whatever bacteria/viruses they are carrying since entering the facility, returning from lunch or the restroom.

Someone needs to invent a hand scanner that you don't need to put your hand on any type of surface.

Re:Sanitary... (2, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658724)

It would be better to invent people who are not total idiots and assholes regarding proper hygiene. Day to day, there are no diseases you can pick up through touch that your immune system cannot handle with ease. Unless, of course, you are a total idiot that never exercises his immune system.

Re:Sanitary... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658742)

How do you handle doorknobs? People touch those too.

No (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657798)

Given how shitty my Nexus One is, my next anything will have a real keyboard.

Imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31657974)

"Imagine every pixel on your LCD screen emitting light could also be receiving light,"

Imagine turning off your computer and going outside and seeing the world for a change.

Re:Imagine (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659470)

Well, I looked through the window, and where the sky should be I've just seen blue. Therefore I conclude the outside world must have crashed. So I'll wait until they restart it.

Why is this a good idea? (1)

Tangentc (1637287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658006)

I don't think that this will die for security concerns, though it does have tremendous potential to cause them. I think this will die because it's unnecessary, impractical, and redundant. Because this requires gestures much larger than would be required with a mouse or traditional touchscreen; and it doesn't really provide much in the way of increased functionality for the cost of the experimental technology. Lastly, it's because we can already make webcams small enough to fit right above laptop LCD screens which could realistically be used in the same way for a lot less money. Think of it like Sony's Eyetoy, both in how it will be innovative and how it will completely flop.

touchscreens are to be avoided where possible (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658032)

I work in the avionics industry, some of our products use touchscreens. I find touchscreens are much slower/less productive in use compared to a keyboard/mouse setup. Also they get very icky very quickly. Sometimes its even hard to read the screen after a few people have used the system, apparently some people like to rub their hands in dirty sump oil before using touchscreens. Personally I choose just about any other form of input over touchscreen when possible.

Not new (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658080)

This isn't anything new. We've been able to do this for years [bored.com] ! ;)

Will your next article.. (1)

eXFeLoN (954179) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658140)

be completely thoughtless? researchers believe it possible.

Less accurate (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658364)

I keep saying all the time, I really wish I had a less accurate way to use my touchscreen, and have even less tactile feedback.

Extending my finger all the way to the screen is such work.

Please, sign me up!

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31658370)

yeah sure, everything i want from my devices is even less tactile feedback.
give me back my keys and get off my lawn

Software solution (2, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658412)

A webcam (or maybe 2 for 3d gesture recognition) is the only hardware device needed, no special hardware that senses with not very fine resolution where are your fingers and usually not with how much intensity are pressing. Think in Microsoft Surface, or better yet, in Sixth Sense technology. Moving the game to mostly software land gives a good potential for features, at least if cpu is enough.

Apple already has this patented. (2, Informative)

Brian Recchia (1131629) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658530)

Great, now we've got a portable abyss... (1)

emag (4640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658730)

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. Friedrich Nietzsche

puttygen.exe ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31659038)

... is now creating your secure ssh key. Don't move the mouse to create random noise, just scoot around the office on your office-chair.

I really LIKE touchscreens (2, Insightful)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659540)

I guess i should say i like the concept of a touchscreen. I have a blackberry storm and an Archos 9 because I'd like to be able to do without a keyboard and mouse. The problem is fidelity. Even after a LOT of practice it is impossible to get the speed or accuracy of a plain old KB and mouse/touchpad.

So now they are talking about stabbing at the air with your fingers and it sounds so cool in a Minority Report kind of way. I like to think that they can get this right but how can stabbing at the air ever be better than stabbing at a keyboard?
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