FingerSense or touchscreen 2.0?
FingerSense, enhanced touchscreen
Touchscreens have become a standard of the industry of mobile phones, but researchers are trying to push the technology even further and find new ways to enrich the interaction interface.
While some companies or research institutes are testing new and complex technologies, a small company offers an enhanced touchscreen experience with the help of existing means.
In the last three years, many companies have showcased different technologies which extend the way we interact with our touchscreens. So, Texas Instruments presented in 2012 a localized haptic feedback screen, Kyocera and NEC have gone even further with their piezo-mechanical screens that give users the possibility to feel some screen elements; the research institutes are also in the race with different materials and construction solutions
Qeexo, a small new starter company, has developed a control system, which uses current technologies found in mobile devices today, and adds an extra "feature" that they called FingerSense.
The original concept behind FingerSense was born in the mind of two students from Carnegie Mellon University from the United States, while trying to discover new ways to extend the touchscreens interactions. Their ideas were observed by the third co-founder, an ex-engineer of Samsung and HTC, which joined the two and build the company Qeexo.
How FingerSense works
The way FingerSense works is ingenious. Instead of developing new complex touchscreen surfaces, the three founders started from the screens and accelerometers already implemented in mobile phones and developed a software solution capable of picking up and reading even the smallest vibration.
Combining the normal touchscreen input with the different vibrations from the other sensors, the FingerSense technology is capable of differentiating between a fingernail, the tip of the finger, the knuckle or a stylus.
These subtle differentiations of multiple screen touching methods have permitted the implementation of more complex interfaces than what we use today. FingerSense developers stating that the technology permits the emulation of different sets of buttons or a mouse cursor.
For example a user could select and copy a portion of text by touching it with the knuckle, the action being interpreted differently than touching the same area with the tip of his finger without the need of insecure and complicated software gimmicks. FingerSense’ s advantages are not only for the mobile phone industry, the car industry can benefit as well, requiring less visual attention from drivers when using it.
Besides FingerSense, Qeexo is also working on other similar products like FingerSense on Walls and FingerSense on Body which can help control devices from a distance by tapping on the table for example of touching your skin, but these are in the first phases of development.
Official website: http://www.qeexo.com/
This all sounds great but how exactly is this going to change anything?
Well, watch the video bellow and let your creativity run free. Imagine a game or an app which allows different actions for a button pressed harder or softer, switching between finger an nail or knuckle.
I would like to see this implemented in a virtual keyboard, so when you press harder on a letter you make it a capital letter, or just by swiping with your knuckle over a word you can delete it.
The applications of this new technology could mean something very important, giving us a "third dimension" in our interaction with touchscreens if you like. Paired with air gesture or just some inventive apps, we can have something more than simple input, it could be closer to an "understanding of user input" by the device.