The touch screen revolutionised the way we interacted with devices, but we always knew that there was more to come out of the touch screen. C’mon, the movies have told us at least that much.
True enough, Apple came up with their “revolutionary” 3D Touch technology that they claimed required countless hours of research to produce, but ended up being not much more than a gimmick, at least for now with the low amount of apps that actually make use of it. Well, if you want something more revolutionary, the boffins at Qeexo might just have what you need.
Carnegie Mellon spin-off Qeexo have come up with a new algorithm that allows smartphones to recognise the angular position of a finger, and are hoping to change the way we interact with our devices.
Dubbed the FingerAngle, this algorithm attempts to improve movements and interactions with a touch screen – like pinching or rotating – which require an extra finger to carry out properly. While on most modern smartphones, requiring an extra finger may not seem like that much of an inconvenience as screen real estate is ample. But when you need to perform those same actions on smaller screened devices like wearables, it becomes a little more tricky.
FingerAngle though, changes this as it allows those devices to determine if you are rotating your finger, if your finger is tilted upwards, downwards or even swiveled side to side. This software estimates a finger’s 3D angle relative to a screen’s surface by measuring the finger’s pitch and yaw.
This then opens up a whole new avenue of possibility for interacting with your device beyond just making it easier for wearables. One prominent possibility is in mobile gaming controls, where currently we have to use on-screen controls or rely on a device’s accelerometer. With FingerAngle, the control possibilities have now completely opened up.
FingerAngle’s promotional video clearly shows that there are some kinks to work out, the latency for example, but as this isn’t the final product yet, things are certainly looking good.
Of course, this technology is still new and there is no definite timeline to when this software will go live. But as this is purely software, who knows, a manufacturer might pick it up and it could come sooner than you think.