Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Microsoft PocketTouch - YouTube

The second presentation innovation Microsoft has announced, is called PocketTouch and it is aimed at making smartphones receptive to touch gestures through fabric, such as a pocket, purse, or jacket.

The idea is that sometimes people want to quickly interact with a smartphone without having to pull it out. Microsoft refers to PocketTouch as an “eyes-free” solution. Here’s the description:

PocketTouch enables a rich set of gesture interactions, ranging from simple touch strokes to full alphanumeric text entry. Our prototype device consists of a custom multitouch capacitive sensor mounted on the back of a smartphone.

Similar capabilities could be enabled on most existing capacitive touchscreens through low-level access to the capacitive sensor… Our results suggest that PocketTouch will work reliably with a wide variety of fabrics used in today’s garments, and is a viable input method for quick eyes-free operation of devices in pockets.

PocketTouch are evolutionary steps of a larger effort by Microsoft Research to investigate the unconventional use of touch in devices to extend Microsoft’s vision of ubiquitous computing.”

It’s terrific to see Microsoft innovating on multitouch since it’s obviously a critical element of the future of computing. However, Microsoft Research has a track record of showing off lots of cool stuff that never comes to market.

They need to follow the lead of IBM’s prolific research devision, which is much better at commercializing and productizing its best innovations — or at least maybe IBM only shows off stuff that has a reasonable path to becoming a real product. Still, in this case, it looks like Microsoft has a couple innovations that aren’t just cute ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment