Monday, March 8, 2010

Skinput - why does a touchscreen need a screen?

Initially this was classified as "weird news," but by the time I followed the link, it had been reclassified as "innovation." Smart move. The link goes to an MSNBC article about a joint effort by Microsoft (Desny Tan, Dan Morris) and Carnegie Mellon University (Chris Harrison) on a new input device.

[A]n innovation called Skinput suggests the true interface of the future might be us.

Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University unveiled Skinput recently, showing how it can turn your own body into a touchscreen interface.

The idea of sensing your body's movements is nothing new in and of itself, but Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon are now using vibrations to do this. Chris Harrison has posted a video to explain.

The chief examples that are shown in the video involve playing Tetris and controlling an iPod. As far as some in the geek universe are concerned, that is the sum total of the functionality that is needed.

However, Kenn (a commenter at has already recognized a potential problem:

I image people with lot’s of little bruises all up and down their arms from incessant tapping.
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