Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

'Cut and Paste' Is Out, 'Pick and Drop' Is In

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the grab-twist-and-pull dept.

Portables 327

Roland Piquepaille writes "How do you exchange a file with a colleague or a photograph with a family member? Chances are that you cut the desired element and paste it into your e-mail program to send it. Now, imagine yourself in a meeting, picking a file on your PDA with a digital pen and using the same pen to drop it on your friend's laptop screen. This is exactly what Jun Rekimoto and his team at Sony Interaction Laboratory have developed with their 'pick and drop' technique. BBC News looks at this project in Digital pen takes on mouse. Because it's based on cheap and existing components, such a system might be released in the near future, though Sony hasn't announced any plans to do it. You'll find more details and pictures in this overview."

cancel ×

327 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Social Gaming? (4, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397846)

This is a great step towards a more social use of computers. Instead of being bogged down with components and using hardware to move files around, it looks as though presenters will be able to quickly move through lectures or presentations without having to mess around. This seems much more seamless to me, and natural. Imagine gaming with the pick and drop scenario. I'm an amateur game designer and this is opening a whole new field of dreams for me... like maybe a better way to interract with film, in theatres, or the advent of much better interactive social gaming.

Re:Social Gaming? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398229)

"We went out one day and our Unix cows were missing," McBride said he told his father in trying to explain the case to him. "We looked in the Linux pen, and there's a bunch of them in there that have our brand on them . . . in this case the copyright. Someone took our cows and we want 'em back -- it's as simple as that."

FACT: linux stole the IP.

I've had a need for this. (4, Interesting)

Libertarian_Geek (691416) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398243)

Back in '92 in a High School computer class after some serious concentrating on coding, I looked over to a friend's PC next to me, and instinctively tried to move my mouse cursor over to his PC to show him an error. At the time, I felt silly for doing that. In hindsight, my subconscious actions might have led to a similar innovation.
Now on a related note, I found that after hours of playing Castle Wolfenstein (back then), I had the urge to push on every brick wall I found to see if there was a hidden room behind it.

Tom!!! (4, Interesting)

jkabbe (631234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397855)

This sounds like what Tom Cruise was doing in Minority Report with those fancy computer gloves.

Re:Tom!!! (2, Interesting)

Solkre (787360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397979)

Maybe we'll get those transparent memory cards that show a thumbnail of the data stored on them.

Re:Tom!!! (2, Interesting)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398106)

I'm not sure if you're mocking them, but I certainly think that could be a good idea for certain uses.

Specifically, photos on flash mem. If you could browse quickly through photos on a stick, you could save time looking for the right stick to share, for example.

The truth is, we're much better at sorting simultaneous visual stimuli than we are at sorting simultaneous textual stimuli. This is why we have to procedurally read titles of books on a bookshelf, whereas we can almost instantly pick out a particular image on the spine of those picks.

Re:Tom!!! (4, Interesting)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398262)

An utter failure of icon-oriented menu or index interfaces is that not only do people remember the image, but more importantly, they remember the shape, size and position of the image.

People can find a pencil on a desk just fine, but finding a pencil in a 16x16 icon grid array of books and papers all evenly spaced randomly is nearly impossible... despite being icon oriented.

Now oddly, it's easier to find the shape of the word "pencil" in a paragraph than it is to find an icon of a pencil in a grid of icons.

Faster still is "ctrl-f" "pencil"

And yet faster is to type "ls pencil" on the command line.

Just because a UI is intuative does not mean it is user friendly... infact, it's usually the opposite.

Re:Tom!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398049)

That was dead sexy.

the computer. i mean.... yeah. the computer.

Re:Tom!!! (1, Interesting)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398124)

Which was nothing short of amazing.

Considering the "mouse and keyboard" approach has been around for a long time, it's probably time for an improvement. While I've learned to love Mr. QWERTY, it'd be nice to explore alternative input devices. Especially ones that look as cool as that one. Just think, maybe they'll actually be useful too!

Cut and paste may be out... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397856)

But the First Post Troll is still in!!!

Boo-yah!!!

Re:Cut and paste may be out... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397874)

The First Post Troll also seems to FAIL IT.

Novelty? (4, Insightful)

BlindSpy (772849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397864)

To me it just seems like another one of those novelty items. On the other hand, if they can get it to be as robust and enough mem like thumb drives, they could really take off.

Re:Novelty? (4, Informative)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398027)

From what I read, the memory is limitless, because the pen is just what is being manipulated.

All the work is done when you tell the "pen server" to acknowledge this click as something you want to pick up. (probably by a button on a stylus)

Then you the next time you tap the pen (or after you click the button on the stylus) it drops it in the next place.

So the pen actually would have any memory.

Re:Novelty? (1)

BlindSpy (772849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398074)

So everyone would have to be on the same network to use this then?

Why use the pen at all? (5, Insightful)

jerroldr (247140) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398284)

So why use the pen at all .... why not use biometrics ... maybe fingerprints .... grab (pinch) a file and move it to the other guys machine .... you would just have to make sure that your finger print is readable on each end.

Re:Novelty? (3, Interesting)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398070)

On the other hand, if they can get it to be as robust and enough mem like thumb drives, they could really take off.

No memory, it just passes a handle and you computer gets the stuff from a server.

I'm not sure what advantage it gives over just making the PDA, or whatever, do the job directly. The pen is just another thing to break/lose/have stolen.

Actually, what we should have is IR on the PDA and a tilt switch inside. Then you could pour the data from yours into your friend's. Bummer when you spill your address book on the floor though.

Re:Novelty? (4, Interesting)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398093)

Another novelty? I had a PalmPilot and then a PocketPC, and the number of times I "beamed" my contact information could be counted on one hand.

Re:Novelty? (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398129)

On the other hand, if they can get it to be as robust and enough mem like thumb drives, they could really take off.

I like thumb drives. I read the blurb and thought so instead of a thumb drive, some one has put the flash mem in pen and some wireless transmission like bluetooth to do the transferring and basicly doing a copy and paste onto an external storage device. Big whoopie.

Re:Novelty? (1)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398189)

You mean like the Gyro Mouse [gyration.com] ?

I kind of agree with you, but eventually we'll have more imput devices than just the mouse and keyboard. While this might not be useful to most of us, hopefully it's a step in the right direction towards something that WILL be useful for all of us.

Will it work on linux? (1, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397869)

Will sony open source it?
Will MS support it?
Will they give these pens out for free?

Will anyone actually use it?

Re:Will it work on linux? (1)

BlindSpy (772849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397896)

Thats a very good point. Will the pens be cross-platform compatable? (another great feature of usb thumb drives)

Re:Will it work on linux? (2, Funny)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397971)

1) No, it will be a propietary atrac thing which will take five hours to convert an rtf doc into a protected atrac file before 'conveniently' dropping into your colleague's laptop
2) of course they will, it will be in the next upgrade plugin distribution for media player, but nobody using any of ten public serials will be allowed to use it
3) Yes, all ps3 and psps will be bundled with one of these pense. And,
4) No.

Re:Will it work on linux? (2, Interesting)

ravydavygravy (230429) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398025)

Will sony open source it?
Probably not

Will MS support it?
Eventually yes

Will they give these pens out for free?
No - did you get your computer for free?

Will anyone actually use it?
Yes

Any more inane questions?

Re:Will it work on linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398162)

The answer to all your questions is no.

Knowing Sony's history, this will just become another proprietary technology that comes and goes. Kind of like Sony MiniDiscs. They are like the Microsoft of the consumer electronics world.

Re:Will it work on linux? (3, Funny)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398233)

Will some slashdroid ask if it plays Ogg Vorbis?

Re:Will it work on linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398267)

No. Not anytime soon. Eventually.

BUT...who cares?

The question (5, Insightful)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397882)

The question is, how long before 'pick and drop' is patented and no one else can use it without paying exhorbant liscencing fees.

What's sad about the above statement is it's not meant as humor.

Re:The question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397941)

There are alternatives:
Catch and Release
Smash and Grab
Hit and Run
I'm sure there are others that are wayyyy cooler too. Oh and I just patented all of those, so don't bother.

Re:The question (1)

The_K4 (627653) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398098)

Which brings up an interesting question: if one can patent swinging [uspto.gov] could one try an patent a clearly illegal idea? Could one patent the act of killing someing using a 1998 Ford Escort as a weapon?

Way cooler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398117)

hump n' dump
fuck n' chuck
bound and gagged

Re:The question (3, Interesting)

Psiren (6145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397980)

Then it won't matter, because no-one else will use the technology and it'll just quietly fade away.

Re:The question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398013)

Any young child will tell you that there is much prior art for "Pick and Drop", as well as "Pick and Flick" and "Pick and Smear All Over Daddy's Arm". It's well documented as the Sinus Nasal Outflow Technique.

Re:The question (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398101)

You can pick your nose, and you can drop your files to your friend, but you can't pick and drop your friends and put a file in your nose.

Or someting like that. It's really early.

Re:The question (1)

erykjj (213892) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398256)

Does anyone have a patent on those?

Re:The question (1)

sirReal.83. (671912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398021)

the real question is, how long before 'you' look in a dictionary and figure out that it's spelled 'exorbitant [everything2.com] '.
just funnin' with ya, software patents r teh s4t4n :)

Re:The question (2, Funny)

debilo (612116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398135)

What's sad about the above statement is it's not meant as humor.

That's ok, it wasn't funny anyway.

Re:The question (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398146)

and why shouldn't they patent it? They didn't spend all that money to give it out for free. I know what you're thinking, it is cool and it is free, just like mp3 and files etc

Old news (1)

DrFrob (568991) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397885)

Isn't this what mac's have been doing for several years now?

Re:Old news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397909)

"Isn't this what mac's have been doing for several years now?"

Unless you mean "picking and dropping" it out of a window.. yes.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398004)

Macs allow you to pick a file up from one laptop screen and drop it on another with no intervening network connection?

Re:Old news (2, Informative)

cosmo7 (325616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398067)

Mac System 7 had "publish and subscribe", which was similar to this idea in the sense that it made a lot of sense, saved time, had a consistent metaphor, and was used by nobody.

Hmm (4, Insightful)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397892)

A business card pre-encoded with the contact information for its owner would be cool. Hand someone your card, they touch it to their PDA and hand it back.

Other more permenant uses would also be cool, get train schedules (including changes due to repairs (Those in NYC know just how important that detail is) at the station with a quick touch.

Re:Hmm (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398122)

A business card pre-encoded with the contact information for its owner would be cool.

Someone needs to resurrect the Rex. Then your business card can be your PDA.

Actually, they should build that functionality into a phone. Rather than making phones the size of a PDA, make something the size of a Rex (ie PC Card sized) which acts as phone and PDA.

Already exists (4, Informative)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398277)

Most bluetooth or IrDA cellphones support swapping business cards using the same standard (vCard) as PDAs and other IrDA compatible devices use. I've used my cellphone at conferences to beam business cards to and from all sorts of handheld gadgets.

Re:Hmm (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398153)

This reminds me of a concept I read about several years back: putting barcodes or magnetic stripes on the back of business cards. Then, put a small reader on a pda. That way, you keep the card, but just swipe it in. How much data, realistically, do you need on a business card? A small photo, a name, company info, and contact info.

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398171)

Much like holding down the address button on your Palm pda to automatically transmit your business card data to another pda?

Re:Hmm (1)

FesterDaFelcher (651853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398222)

Much like holding down the address button on your Palm pda to automatically transmit your business card data to another pda? Yep, and my co-worker hates it when I beam a contact from my old Palm m125 to his new fangled iPaq and it gets a fatal error. He has to restart it. I do it all the time in meetings. All you have to do is put a lot of notes into a contact and it destroys a PPC. :)

oh yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397893)

'pick and drop' sounds much better than 'cut n paste'

geeky.

That's great and all, but.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397905)

I'm not going to give up on the usefulness of my Cue Cat just yet.

I wish! (3, Funny)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397910)

How do you exchange a file with a colleague or a photograph with a family member? Chances are that you cut the desired element and paste it into your e-mail program to send it


I don't know about your friends but I've got some real winners who just keep forwarding until the original info is nested 40 layers deep. argh!

Transfer speed? (2, Interesting)

BlindSpy (772849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397924)

How long will you have to keep your "pen" connected for the data to be transfered. If you're going to have to hold your hand there for a while for bigger files you mind as well just use other methods of data transfer.

Re:Transfer speed? (1)

LittleKing (688048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398038)

I think a good way for this problem to be solved would be to just use the pen to start the transfer. Select on your computer what you want transfered then select the computer destination. The wired or wireless link between the two computers would then transfer the files.

Roland Piquepaille is a spammer (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397925)


see this slashdot article for insight [slashdot.org] , needless to say slashdot keeps feeding him while he steals other peoples content and reposts it as his own

Re:Roland Piquepaille is a spammer (1)

popeyethesailor (325796) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398283)

WTF?

A spammer by definition is somebody who sends unsolicited stuff. There're still Editors at slashdot right? arent they supposed to choose stories ? If this guy knows what stories interest the slashdot audience, and present them convincingly, what's wrong with posting it?

I've been using pick and drop forever... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397926)

I've just confined its use to nasal maintenance. Sometimes an added roll step is required between the pick and drop steps. It sounds like these guys have just taken this concept and run with it.

Re:I've been using pick and drop forever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397970)

and the Flick! You can't for get the Flick!
PICK and FLICK! Eureka! That's it! My god man, it's Brilliant!

Drop Box in OS X .. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397928)

If you are using OS X, you can just use the Drop Box via afp:// ... but that assumes both people have Macs. People have dumped stuff / I have dumped stuff to people via this way before.

Of course, I'd imagine that in this case both people must have compatible PDAs, too.

I can see it now... (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397929)

This thing'll be used to drop porn on the board room's projector during a meeting, a'la Fight Club, or will be used to write nasty things about the presenter, who would probably be facing the audience rather than the screen...

expensive pens (1, Interesting)

teklob (650327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397930)

I wonder how this works, and how the PDA would differentiate between more than one stylus. The only solution I can think of is there would need to be some sort of data storage capacity in the pen. They already charge you $10-$40 for a piece of plastic shaped like a pen, who knows how much it will cost when it has a miniature hard drive and wifi connectivity in it.

Re:expensive pens (2, Informative)

gtaluvit (218726) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398126)

RTFA. The stylus has an ID. From what I read, you touch a file with the stylus and your computer basically says "this file is about to be transferred with this stylus". When you touch another computer with it, that computer asks the network "I'm a computer looking for a file from this stylus" and the original responds by sending it. Old idea, new interface. I like it.

Re:expensive pens (1)

dirt_puppy (740185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398156)

The Pens for Graphic Tablets (W*c*m et al.) already are unique - every one has an ID which is read out every time you use it (you can make the linux drivers for the W*c*m ones print it out). Plus, as far as I know, the pen is the cheap part of the System - The pen is like an euro or some in cost (after all, it's just an antenna and a really simple IC - and, I didn't say it wouldn't cost more when you'd buy one), the expensive part is the sensors in the tablet.

Transmission Vector (4, Interesting)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397944)

I suppose that someone should play devil's advocate and point out that this will revitalize the old "dirty disk" transmission vector for virus's and other malware. Where it use to be, "Don't put that disk in your PC, its got a virus on it", now it'll be "Don't touch me with that thing, its dirty!".

Subsequent invention of a small, slip-on firewall is pending...

Good thing (2, Insightful)

ifoxtrot (529292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397945)

I really like the idea behind this because it targets a specific audience that will really benefit from it: i.e. people who have to use computers to work, but don't want to know how they work.
Sure it won't be as efficient as cut + paste (won't work on remote machines for e.g.), or as powerful + customisable as a perl script, but for day-to-day needs of people who don't have or want a clue this may be a step further to making computers invisible (kinda like the taps and sinks and washing machines we're so used to when we want water)

Umm... No (3, Insightful)

windside (112784) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397956)

How do you exchange a file with a colleague or a photograph with a family member? Chances are that you cut the desired element and paste it into your e-mail program to send it.

No. That's what the "attach" button is for. I've always found cut & paste into an email to be quite dodgy.

Re:Umm... No (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398230)

Most of my family is still on dial-up; so I post the images to a web server and allow them to browse them at their leisure, rather than forcing them to sit and wait for an hour to see 100 pictures they probably don't care about anyway.

The analogy given is poor anyway, this method is only practical when both people are in the same room along with the devices they wish to use to share the data. How often does that occur?

Interresting (1)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397957)

I didn't read the article (Yet, I swear!) but if (as is often NOT the case on slashdot) it turns out to describe what the description says this sounds great.

I have often thought of the stagnation of the mouse/keyboard as inptu devices in computing, it seems weekly there is some crazy new way of doing things proposed but most mouse changes are simple iterative improvements (adding buttons, removing the mechanical ball, etc) but a pointer that could transfer data with a strong metaphor like the description gives would be a revolution in computer-human interaction.

Of course it would have to be universally standardized, and would require standard data formats accross platforms. So it actually won't work that great. Of course if you have all SONY, MS, or equipment it will work great... but I bet the "standard" application will be about as good as cut-and-paste is in X between a GNOME app and an old Mosaic app.

Submitter is a spammer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9397960)


come on Michael do your homework

Roland Piquepaille story spammer [slashdot.org]

Awww COMEON..... (3, Insightful)

schild (713993) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397961)

What the hell is the difference? Seriously. Now instead of using programs already implemented and functioning, we'll have to carry around a little pen with some memory or bluetooth or some other technology built in? Thus slowing down bootup time, adding more drivers to deal with, and potentially more flaws? I love how the article says "this is very intuitive..." Shit guys, cut & paste is intuitive cuz we've been doing it the better part of 20 years, now you want to 'shift the paradigm' (TM).

Sony should have seriously sat back and said, "ya know, it isn't broken and it doesn't need to be made any better right now, we have better things to spend money on." But noooo, instead Joe Jackass VP said "Hyuk, I wanna touch my friends laptop and have my files automagically pop onto their computer."

And holy hacking batman, this is a whole new world of identity/property theft.

But what about... (2, Funny)

Lazarus_Bitmap (593726) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397965)

"Picking and grinning"?

Ah, for the days of sitting in Dad's lap, watching HeeHaw, admiring the cowgirls.

Re:But what about... (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398136)

Ah, for the days of sitting in Dad's lap, watching HeeHaw, admiring the cowgirls.

"..watching HeeHaw"? My dad and I did the same thing, but we called it "spanking Monkey".

Why? (2, Interesting)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397968)

What does this do that I can't do with cut&paste?
When i need something on another computer, it's always a file anyway, which I can put on my LAN (Like 1GB+). This just seems like a waste of time when we already have a simple way of doing it.

Re:Why? (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398009)

This article is talking about PDAs and portable devices. Not really so much as networked PCs. For example, if AWAY from your LAN, it would be a lot easier to simply "picK" from their PDA a picture or file and then drop it into your handheld. This is better than the contrary, email it to me, here is my email.

Re:Why? (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398055)

Alot of PDAs have WiFi, and you'd probably need it to send anything with a big file size.

Re:Why? (1)

MoxCamel (20484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398143)

Alot of PDAs have WiFi, and you'd probably need it to send anything with a big file size.

Most files are in the sub-gigabyte range. A "pen" with a healthy RAM size should be able to handle most drag-and-drop operations. And quite frankly, if your pen can't handle it, either your or my email system probably has a size-limit filter prohibiting large attachments. Keep in mind this is a technology that's not out to replace the fileserver, it's just a convenient way of simplifying the process of getting information from one device to another quickly. As I mentioned in a previous post, it really is just an elegant USB memory stick.

This would be better than WiFi, because (I think) it's a physical connection. You'll have a decent data transfer rate, and you won't have to worry about someone snooping packets.

Re:Why? (1)

MoxCamel (20484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398084)

This just seems like a waste of time when we already have a simple way of doing it.

You suffer from a lack of imagination. Doing it the current way requires a network and fileservers at a minimum. Which is fine if I'm on your network, have the correct permissions, and know where to go get the file that you're sending to me.

On the other hand, if you and I are in a business meeting in a restaurant, and I've got a document to share with you (maybe we're editing it during the meeting), we can work out all the details, and then I just pick it up from my PDA and drop it onto your laptop. No muss, no fuss. Yes, I could just email it to you when I get back to the office (or perhaps both of us have wireless, and we could do it right there), but there's a lot of overhead involved. Literally picking up a file on my device and dropping it onto yours is just very elegant.

This really is just USB memory sticks taken to the next level.

Smart Stylus (2, Interesting)

mratitude (782540) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397972)

So now my stylus will be able to store data and copy it to another device? A "smart" pointer?

I read that as equating to $$$ when I lose the bloody thing.

What would be really cool... (4, Funny)

MoxCamel (20484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397976)

Instead of using a device to exchange files, wouldn't it be cool if we could somehow connect computers together in such a way that you could transfer files without having to use this funky "pen" interface? Imagine hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of these machines, exchanging information using some kind of graphical interface, where you could use some kind of input device like a joystick to "grab" a file, and "drop" it across to another computer, seamlessly. You might say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

That would be cool!

A solution looking for a problem (4, Interesting)

phayes (202222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397995)

The typical ways of exchanging files, using e-mail, discs, or a shared file server, are impractical or clumsy in many cases.

No, typical interfaces used to exchange information are impractical or clumsy. Well designed interfaces are not. Back before my Palm died I used to use beam-it to exchange files with other palm owners using the IR link. While the user interface was far from optimal, it was far from being impractical or clumsy.

Setting up a "pen manager server" just so I can exchange files is impractical and clumsy.

Best quote in the BBM article:
Dr Russell Beale, of the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham in the UK, said it was "toys for the boys".

I'm oldschool (3, Funny)

endeitzslash (570374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398008)

I still like "Xerox and throw". . .

Wait a second... (2, Interesting)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398012)

"When the pen tip comes close to the screen of another device, a shadow of the attached object appears on its screen. Tapping the pen tip instructs the 'pen manager' server to copy the file to that location." I can't tell if the pen actually is screen location sensitive, or if it just sends the file to the destination machine? In other words, is it actually a copy and paste across two computers, or is it just a clunky way to send files?

pick & paste (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398016)

cut and paste / pick and drop?? how about "cut & drop" or "pick & paste"

Suit1: Hey Don did you get me that file yet?
Suit2: Yeah - I'm 'p p-ing' on your tablet pc right now

Pick'n'drop on a USB memory device (2, Interesting)

Bushcat (615449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398034)

I had a similar idea a while ago (which I guess I should have followed up on), but it wasn't to share files between people. Instead, it would be a go2mypc-like service, where a USB memory-style device is used to tap on the files one wants to be available in a second location. If they fit on the device, then they are transferred to it. The ones that don't get delivered when the USB dongle is connected to a target machine.

Given the Sony approach to a device that has a unique ID that can be tracked through some kind of communication, I don't know why they don't simply take the opportunity to stuff the "pen" with the data. The demo talks about handheld to handheld, so it's not likely to be huge amounts.

In either case, the device is an intermediary, that could be built into anything most people have with them at all times. Cellphone, for example.

More info on how it works (5, Informative)

ifoxtrot (529292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398050)

Check out the paper [sony.co.jp] he submitted at CHI. Also the BBC has a story about this at this address [bbc.co.uk] .
In short, the pen doesn't actually store the file, but uses a third server to mark and notify which file should be copied to where...

So, they're reinventing sneakernet... (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398088)

Really, consider the similarities:

You have to physically carry the data from point A to point B

You have to hand the data to the recipient, so both of you have to be space-time coincident

This will just add another step in the old one-upmanship communication chain:

"I need a copy of that."
"Can I fax it to you?"
"Can you email it to me?
"Do you have a web site where I can drop it?"
"Here, just drop it on my PDA"

Feh.

OBEX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398090)

Isn't this what OBEX was designed for ? OBEX over IRDA or BT sounds like a lot less hassle to me.

More information on "Pick and Drop" (1, Troll)

Roland Piquepialle (787366) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398094)

I have done extensive research into this subject after discovering it, and I'd like to offer some more information:

Here is the concept of the 'pick and drop' technique, which was demonstrated last April in Vienna, Austria, at the CHI 2004 conference.

Dr Rekimoto's lab has extended the drag and drop technique used in most PC software to create a 'pick and drop' technique. So the owner of a handheld computer can pick up a file from their device, using a special pen, and drop it onto the screen of another computer, by placing the pen on its screen.
The pick and drop technique would make it easy for two colleagues in a meeting to exchange files between their laptop computers, new acquaintances to pass each other electronic business cards, or friends to swap references to websites or music tracks they like.

Rekimoto and his team also developed the 'pick and beam' approach, suitable for lectures. You select an object on your screen and you drop it on a dashboard.

Documents can be dragged using a special pen from a computer desktop into these spaces. There they can be spread out or exchanged, allowing people to work with them almost as if they were paper documents.

You'll find photographs illustrating the two techniques and some others at Sony Interaction Laboratory.

YOU are a spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398210)

you havent done any research, you are a story spammer [slashdot.org] , why dont you get a real job and stop stealing other peoples words and pictures to pimp your shitty advertising blog, try being honest

plaigarism is a disease, and copyright law still exists to protect authors from leechers and scum feeders like yourself

Re:More information on "Pick and Drop" (1)

davids-world.com (551216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398220)

Rekimoto gave a keynote at CHI, and as I might add, not a too impressive one. The interaction techniques aren't all that new to HCI researchers, some of them told me.

One of the questions asked by an audience member after his talk was: Why do we need electronic whiteboards in meeting rooms, or a pen like this, when people just use paper to quickly exchange small amounts of information physically?

Well, it's a somewhat naive question, and maybe it was ment to be. Rekimoto's reply was: "I don't answer this question!"

One problem with this HCI research seems to be that there's not always a lot evaluation going on -- because the success of these interfaces are hard to capture quantitatively, and evaluating them means getting a lot of human subjects involved. No fun!

The real problems in this pen are of a technical / networking / interfacing nature. How do you ensure that computers can actually understand the files being exchanged, across platforms and applications (Word version, for example)? Do you need a central db to resolve the RFID code of the pen to the IP address of the laptop it was held to before, or does the pen store it then? Or does the pen store the actual file?? How do you make sure that the laptops can easily connect to the central db server? Zero-conf? But if you have zero-conf, how do you make ensure security? Hacking the think, can't I just listen to RFID codes around me (or whatever transmission technique is used) and then request the file transfered from the network?

A lot of interesting questions that are outside the range of "HCI", but that are vital a good user experience!

Roland Piquepaille is a spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398265)

fuck off elsewhere Roland with your spam [slashdot.org]
try flipping burgers as you are obviuously desperate for cash

Audio Pick and Drop (1)

stab (26928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398123)

Pick and Drop is very cool ... in case anyone is interested, we knocked up an audio-based pick and drop interface a couple of years ago inspired by Rekimoto's work. Cheesy videos and webpage available here [cam.ac.uk] , and the academic paper [cam.ac.uk] describing the work in more detail.

The idea is that you can use existing devices (like voice recorders, mobile phones, PDAs) that can play or record audio to capture documents and move them around. By playing the sound back to a device (e.g. a print server), it decodes the identifer and downloads it via the higher bandwidth network.

Cut and paste? No way.... (2, Insightful)

pulse2600 (625694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398155)

I prefer copy and paste. That way I won't lose the original data if I happen to screw it up.

Virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398166)

And then the virus potential

Buy stock in Symantec now!

Gee Sounds Like what I do on my Mac (1)

HiroProtagonist (56728) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398180)

Gee Sounds Like what I do on my Mac with iChat and files.

I take a file, drag it over to iChat, drop it on the individual I wish to send the file to, he sees the file come up as an icon in his iChat window, clicks it and it downloads onto his desktop.

I'm really unimpressed with this, it's been done before. Granted it wasn't a wireless device, and the platform is different, but not THAT different.

STD (1)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398197)

Only a matter of time til that picking and putting gives you more than you bargained for.

This is not a storage device shaped like a pen (4, Informative)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398203)

Several people posting seem to have the impression that this thing is like a USB thumb drive shaped like a pen. It is not a storage device, it is an interface metaphor. The actual data still has to move across a network. It is just a more fluid and intuitive (well fluid and intuitive is a matter of opinion) of telling the systems to transfer data. ie, instead of expilictly transfering the data from the PDA (via hotsync, ftp, nfs, whatever) the pen motion initiates an implicit transfer of data.

Seems frivolous (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398215)

So what does the Sony pen do that a USB memory key doesn't, except:

1) Write on paper, and
2) Not use a standardized USB interface or driver?

I mean, it's a cute idea and all, but if you're going to be moving a little widget back and forth between computers, why not just use a memory key that works with every computer right out of the box, instead of some futuristic tinkertoy that only one company (or optimistically a HANDFUL of companies) supports?

Seems like a pain in the ass implementation to me.

For those who RTFA... (1)

bigdady92 (635263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398223)

It's simply an easier way of just moving data from one device to another without using:

1. Bluetooth/Wi-fi

2. Cables of any sort: LTP/Serial/USB/Fireware/ETC

3. PC-Cards:PCMCIA/CardBus/CompactFlash/Memstick.

It's like taking a 'wand' and magically sucking the data into it and then tapping on the screen and *POOF* your data is there. Bibbity! Bobbity! Boo!

I am pretty sure disney's got a patent on it, but, if not I'm filing!

Have they ever heard about gorilla arm? (1)

marat (180984) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398226)

history repeats [google.com]

Sad news ... Ray Charles, dead at 74 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398247)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Singer/Songwriter Ray Charles was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Seems like this could easily be done on USB keys.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398278)

It seems to me that one could avoid all the expensive hardware by simply basing this around USB keys and the cut-n-paste model.

Simple... write a utility to capture some key combo (like ctrl-p for 'picking') and automatically store the data on a USB key... Then, when you put the drive in another computer and hit 'ctrl-d' to drop, it pastes the file as normal, from the storage space on the USB key.

Seems simple enough to me.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?