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Demo of Laptop/Tabletop Hybrid UI

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the computer-is-watching dept.

Input Devices 66

TheGrapeApe writes "The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (ACMUIST) has an interesting proof-of-concept video up demonstrating the use of cameras and laser pico-projectors to 'extend' a laptop's user interface to adjacent surfaces. The video demonstrates some simple gestures like tapping and dragging being captured on the 'extended' surface. While the prototype appears to be somewhat cumbersome, it's easy to see how it might be more elegantly integrated into the hardware with more R&D."

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66 comments

I'm putting that on my bed... (3, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 years ago | (#31844546)

...and looking for POV on XXNX.com

Re:I'm putting that on my bed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31844726)

Actually, it reminds me of the Ms. PacMan tabletop games they used to have in pizza joints in the 80s...they got kinda gross...

Re:I'm putting that on my bed... (1)

krou (1027572) | about 4 years ago | (#31844808)

"Content recognition detects you are masturbating. Share? Yes/No"

cool, but why do they have a wimp selling it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31844590)

sounds like a 12yo

Re:cool, but why do they have a wimp selling it? (0, Troll)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | about 4 years ago | (#31845614)

Grossly unpolished in todays hi-tech environment. Proof of concept should look better than this.

Re:cool, but why do they have a wimp selling it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31845850)

what, they weren't gay enough for you?!?

Re:cool, but why do they have a wimp selling it? (2, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | about 4 years ago | (#31846040)

Dude, it's a POC! It only needs to be good enough to see the possibilities. Besides, it was done by engineers at a University. Were you expecting a "Steve Jobs" amazing world changing demo?

Re:cool, but why do they have a wimp selling it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31846584)

Who the fuck modded this up?

Surface (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | about 4 years ago | (#31844638)

With the cost they have spent, they have imitated a lot of Surface features like placing the mobile device and transfer files from it and other things. I think with polishing it can give a good competition for Surface (when it becomes mainstream)

Re:Surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31845190)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8lCetZ_57g prototype of gesture, from 1991

Ummm (0, Flamebait)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31844650)

What about that "Sixth Sense" thing we all saw on TED [ted.com] a year ago?

demonstrating the use of cameras and laser pico-projectors to "extend" a laptop's user interface to adjacent surfaces.

As opposed to extend the output onto any surface in front of you, adjacent or not, and the input to any gesture in front of you?
This is unimpressive.

Re:Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31845678)

Both are pretty impressive IMO, they both extend interfaces in rather intelligent ways without overly-complicated techniques. (hardware-wise)

I do agree that Sixth Sense is more impressive, technically, but both have different, if ever-so-slightly related fields.
One is more about augmented reality, the other is more about making use of table space to extend an interface via projection and gestures with less emphasis on the augmented reality side of things.
Both look equally ugly at the moment as well. (but that is easily fixed for both cases)
Sixth Sense is certainly further ahead in development, that's for sure.

I, for one, can't wait to see what happens with both of these ideas.

Re:Ummm (1)

DorkRawk (719109) | about 4 years ago | (#31846104)

Interesting fact: not all technology bursts into the world from Steve Jobs womb, polished by Jonathan Ives. Proof of concepts are ugly, slow, and clunky, but often they... provide proof that a concept can exist. This seems like a cool idea, but it's really not the job of these scientists to find a marketable use for it. Maybe it has a future, maybe it doesn't, honestly, who cares at this point! It's cool to see people trying things in new ways. Remember, the first mouse was carved out of a block of wood. Most people probably would have thought that was ugly, clunky, and useless too.

Re:Ummm (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#31846298)

Sixth Sense also had the benefit that you didn't have to crush all the bones in your finger trying to apply sufficient force to get it to recognize tapping an object on the table. Seriously... check out from 0:50 in the video. Looks painful!

Deja vu, and first time was so much better (1)

dragisha (788) | about 4 years ago | (#31844654)

Pranav Mistry, TED, SixthSense... This HybridUI is so cheap copy it hurts.

http://www.ted.com/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html [ted.com]

Re:Deja vu, and first time was so much better (1)

emj (15659) | about 4 years ago | (#31844810)

Not really, this is is "easy" to DIY and something that is actually usable at this moment, one projector and a webcam and you can do lots of stuff, and everyone who have their computer at a desk can use it. The wearable stuff shown at TED has a long way to come.

Re:Deja vu, and first time was so much better (1)

coaxial (28297) | about 4 years ago | (#31844812)

It's not a wearable device, and and doesn't need those finger caps. More importantly thoug, the use cases are completely different. SixthSense is for that very vague use case when you want a wearable, but don't need a HUD. This is tangible computing [wikipedia.org]. And tangible computing is *much* cooler because it has a great potential to be an everyday interaction. Wearables are destined to serve in a niche space.

Re:Deja vu, and first time was so much better (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31844896)

Yes - but its merely taking existing technology and applying it to an also niche application. About a month after the Sixth Sense was demo'd they finished a prototype that didn't require finger caps to identify the fingers.

The whole Idea of the sixth sense was more about:
Reliable Input output wherever you are, with an OS that understands universal gestures.

The fact that it was wearable was only meant to exagerate that point. This news article listed here is nothing that wasn't around in 2009.

Re:Deja vu, and first time was so much better (1)

coaxial (28297) | about 4 years ago | (#31846720)

The hand gestures aren't really needed beyond simple interaction like touch, drag, and swipe. This is much more along the lines of skinput [chrisharrison.net].

The One Fatal Flaw (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31844722)

The one downside is the system causes you to do an over-exaggerated nod any time you use it.

Wouldnt do me any good... (3, Insightful)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 4 years ago | (#31844792)

Who has a desk as clean as that?

Re:Wouldnt do me any good... (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#31844972)

Who has a desk as clean as that?

I do. All of my papers, books, parts, plates and cutlery, post-it notes, mugs, wine bottles, and other miscellaneous clutter prevent dust from settling on it.

Re:Wouldnt do me any good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31851106)

zomg there is a spider on my desk!! *smashes desk with fist*. Bonefire has detected that you wish to HULK SMASH EVERYTHING!!! Then ensues images of files burning displayed all over the room especially your hidden collection of pr0n strewn flaming across others cubicles. Not to mention your buddy next to you is seizuring out after looking over and to see what was going on then getting strobed in the eyes by 30 gigs of temp files spam.

Re:Wouldnt do me any good... (1)

Fri13 (963421) | about 4 years ago | (#31846234)

I do have. I have (almost) paperless office. All work is done digitally with few computers. Coffee cup is usually with the wireless keyboard and mouse. I do not even have a mousepad because laser mouse.

One key for 99% paperless office is to have a scanner and not to have a printer in front of you. Every paper what you get, you scan it to digital format and throw away the original if there is no need to store it to shelfs (laws demanding it etc). If something is needed to send via paper format, then you can print it out. Otherwise none of stuff gets printed. This works very well when moving around the country. All documents can be backupped easily, shared and edited if needed. The Office can be totally clear from paper. (This does not mean other rooms would not have paper, like magazines).

And my desk is glass and about 50% opaque. Very easy to keep clean. Just move keyboard and mouse and wipe it two times a week. Monitor is positioned so it can be easily moved up. My next project is to get a 100% transparent glass, place monitor under the glass and use a very thin mousepad (1mm) with 30x30 area. This would leave whole desk clear when placing keyboard and mouse (+pad) to shelf.

But for me this kind technology has no use. I would like more about the touch functions in the table itself. More like MS Surface but should be better.

Re:Wouldnt do me any good... (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 4 years ago | (#31855058)

I dont even own a printer. My desk is cluttered with stuff; empty cans of monster, video game controller, various tools, coffee cups, cutlery...yes I am a bit of a slob :s

Closing Sequence (1)

esaulgd (1754886) | about 4 years ago | (#31844922)

The video has a post-title closing shot not unlike movie trailers from the last decade. It starts at 3:45 and it's actually funnier than what I expected (admittedly I had pretty low expectations).

The question is, when did these start showing up in officially submitted academic videos?

Man that was bad (3, Funny)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | about 4 years ago | (#31844938)

That was the worst video demo I've seen in recent memory. None of the purported applications were interesting at all.

Quick, you want to pause the music you're playing. Which would be easier? (1) Hitting a pause button on your laptop; (2) Hitting a pause button on your headphones; (3) Putting an accelerometer in your headphones; (4) Finding the exact tiny square on your desk such that if you put your headphones down there and maybe fiddle with it for a couple seconds so it's in the proper orientation to be picked up by a camera? I don't see much future in option #4.

The scanning was pretty bad, too. Even manually taking a picture of a photo or piece of paper, where I'm directly overhead and fiddling with the lighting, it's hard to get a good result. When that started I thought "wow that picture is going to look like absolute shit" and it turned out even worse than I thought. Even at 480p you could the picture was unusable for anything, virtually unrecognizable even.

The worst was the "tapping", though. It actually requires you to break your own finger bones just to register a "tap"?

Re:Man that was bad (2, Interesting)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | about 4 years ago | (#31845366)

I agree the quality of the samples were pretty bad, but I think the point was to show that the technology is out there and can be developed further (provided they get enough investors) into something usable and practical.

I work in an accounting firm and I can totally see this being used to scan documents and other related material to send to clients for quick sharing and transfer of information. Sure, you can walk it over to the scanner and email from there, but anytime you can keep a user at their desk then you increase the efficiency and work-output. That's just one possible scenario, of course.

How about in the medical world? You could use this to scan MRI's or patient history files and import into a shared database. Or maybe specific articles in publications that can be scanned for research. The billing dept. could place an encounter form on the desk and the system could recognize the form-type and drop it in the patient's file for later submission to the payer resulting in faster reimbursement to the Dr. I'm sure someone else could think of even more practical applications...

I'd be very interested to demo this product once they make advancements.

Re:Man that was bad (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 4 years ago | (#31847284)

Walk it over to the scanner

How enormous a scanner do you have? Get a $50 USB powered scanner, just the time saved walking should cover the cost

Not to mention eliminating the chance of leaving somebody's medical file on the platen.

Re:Man that was bad (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31855210)

Talk about inventing an obscure hypothetical use case to justify a solution in search of a problem...

Re:Man that was bad (1)

MikeURL (890801) | about 4 years ago | (#31845422)

I tend to think when the apps for Natal start to come out that they will be a lot more polished than this.

There is a desire to expand the UI beyond JUST a KB and mouse but a lot of technologies have to converge to make that happen in a way that is more meaningful than just a touchscreen.

Re:Man that was bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31845486)

-1 hyperbolic

Not every presentation was made for YOU. (3, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | about 4 years ago | (#31845780)

That was the worst video demo I've seen in recent memory. None of the purported applications were interesting at all.

This was a bunch of students working on a sponsored project and presenting a video of their finished experiment to judges at a conference. The video was probably not even a primary concern, since judges would probably be seeing a live demo. You're living far too pampered a life if you think every product presentation is made with you and your personal needs in mind. Your reaction is an example of corporations ballooning people's sense of entitlement and self-importance to extravagant proportions.

The idea behind experiments like this one is not to immediately produce a salable item or any direct profit, but rather to encourage an environment where new kinds of thinking can emerge which might otherwise not, and thus present us with possibilities not envisioned prior. Another word for this is, "Play".

I strongly recommend you look into it.

-FL

Re:Man that was bad (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31847496)

The worst was the "tapping", though. It actually requires you to break your own finger bones just to register a "tap"?

That's the one thing I hate about my Acer netbook -- its touchpad simulates a left mouse click by tapping it. You don't have to tap hard, which is bad, because it thinks I'm tapping when I'm just moving my finger to complete the mouse cursor's movement. It's not a bug, just an incredibly bad feature.

This would be the same; there are no sensors in the desk, so you wouldn't "break your own finger bones". At least a tap there wouldn't open up some damned web ad when you just wanted to move the cursor.

I wish I could find out how to turn that "feature" off; maybe when I figure out how to get Linux on it (no CD or DVD drive) that will eliminate the "feature".

Re:Man that was bad (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 4 years ago | (#31848898)

I wish I could find out how to turn that "feature" off;

Control Panel -> Mouse -> Uncheck tap to click option. Hard stuff to figure out, I'm sure.

Re:Man that was bad (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31849384)

Not there, I looked. But I'll look again when I get home, thanks.

Re:Man that was bad (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31855230)

Most touchpads have their own utility for all that kind of crap - often it appears in the system tray[1]. Sometimes it's duplicated in its own tab in the mouse properties.

(Fellow sufferer - first thing I do on any machine is turn all that off, though two-finger scrolling is about tolerable on my Eee)

[1] this is assuming you've still got the factory OS installed.

Ergonomics (2, Insightful)

wbackner (1417725) | about 4 years ago | (#31844948)

I wonder how all of these virtual interfaces work ergonomically. I could see how it would be really good because you could individually adjust components. However, I could also see how there could be complications from only working with hard surfaces and having no physical interface to support your hands.

Was done in 1985, 1991 (videos too) (2, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 4 years ago | (#31845032)

This sort of thing was being done even back in 1985, and there are videos to demonstrating it:

My interest is in finding prior art to prevent any company from using patents to jam up phone development for the years to come. If anyone else has examples from 1990 or before, please let me know.

Re:Was done in 1985, 1991 (videos too) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31845358)

So, how is this going to make me a more productive programmer vs a traditional dual LCD with one keyboard a one mouse setup? Oh, it isn't? This is bullshit.

Re:Was done in 1985, 1991 (videos too) (1)

hardware1949 (1777614) | about 4 years ago | (#31846002)

I was kind of wondering how far down the comment line it would go until I hit something about Apple. Thank you for making your well analyzed point of view. Kind of makes me wonder how long it will be until Steve Jobs and his patent trolls start running screaming. It's mine, mine, all mine. We thought of it first and we'll sue anyone who even thinks about implementing this. Just think, in several generations down the road, our children won't have to be party to these petty ego bruised megalomaniacs. Well maybe not. Who knows what new batch of them may just crop up. This is a cool concept though and I thought the scanning aspect was especially slick, at least for being a prototype. Just think of all the wonderful concepts that will be forever buried by the egomaniacs that pervade this industry. An industry that many of us have devoted so much time to. Loved the comment about the messy desk. So true, who has a desk like that?

Knock-on-Wood (3, Funny)

kiehlster (844523) | about 4 years ago | (#31845228)

"This feature is knock-on-wood and free of glitches." *knocks on wood desk* "Well, except when the computer closes all open programs like it just did. We still need to work on that particular gesture."

Tony Stark already has this... (2, Interesting)

bev_tech_rob (313485) | about 4 years ago | (#31845308)

I can't see the video due to Websense at work blocking Youtube (grrrrr), but from what the description describes, isn't this system similar to what Tony Stark had in the Iron Man movie? The holographic desktop projections were pretty cool for that movie. He would just grab a portion of the armor and throw it in the virtual trashcan.

Re:Tony Stark already has this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31845416)

And Star Trek already has matter transporters... are you criticizing the idea for not being 100% original?

Re:Tony Stark already has this... (1)

knarf (34928) | about 4 years ago | (#31845786)

I can't see the video due to Websense at work blocking Youtube

So? You have broadband at home I assume? What keeps you from running a proxy on that? Those silly web filters will only disappear once their utter futility has been proven enough for even the most dimwitted CIO. Those filters are not an alternative for creating a challenging work environment. If people want to waste time on the job they'll find something to waste it on, filters be damned...

Re:Tony Stark already has this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31846544)

another example of power-mad bosses exerting unreasonable control over ppl, just because they can. yay free market!

Maybe a laptop could be (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 4 years ago | (#31846042)

your phone with a microprojector/camera for the keyboard and a 2nd microprojector that displays on a surface for the display. It'll take awhile, but I expect it to happen when microprojectors get better. Feel free to use this comment as "prior art" as a published idea 10 years from now when the patent surfaces:)

Touch glass technology along the same lines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31846278)

I've used some products from a company called Screen Solutions International that go right along with this demo. They do a lot of touch glass applications where you can convert an existing window or piece of glass to a multi-touch display using an electronic device attached to the glass, and a rear projection film applied to the other side of the glass. Check out http://www.ssidisplays.com/ [ssidisplays.com]

Fake and Gay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31847352)

Not the PoC. The narrator.

Now when I work on the couch... (1)

John Whitley (6067) | about 4 years ago | (#31848308)

[...] demonstrating the use of cameras and laser pico-projectors to "extend" a laptop's user interface to adjacent surfaces.

Excellent! Now when I'm laptopping away on the couch, I can turn the cat into my UI. This would be great with context-sensitive help. "Double-tap left cat ear to confirm." Also, turnabout for all those times the cat decides to use her two-pawpad scrolling powers on me.

Re:Now when I work on the couch... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 4 years ago | (#31850508)

This will work for about 3 seconds. Then the cat will start playing tag with the cursor and icons, which will be interpreted as "taps".

If you thought the cat walking across your keyboard was disruptive wait until it starts launching multiple apps at batty-bat-bat-the-cat-toy speeds.

interesting (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#31848850)

by properly aligning the mirrors, a three dimensional environment could be developed.

a precursor of the holodeck

Poor keyboard (1)

Illogical Spock (1058270) | about 4 years ago | (#31851362)

At first, I thought that the guy was "tapping" that hard in the table because the system only works that way. But then in the picture scan part he "tapped" (more like hammered) his keyboard the same way he did in the table... If he pokes one's arm, we will see a exposed fracture for sure.
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