What do you get if you cross a camera which can detect movements with another that can tell different kinds of surfaces apart?
The answer is that you get a magical little device which lets you make different types of command based upon what part of your body you touch and turns the whole world into your giant touchscreen.
So there you have it. A swipe on your shirt means you want to call your Mum while one on your leg could mean that you want to reject a call. People watching on the journey to work could get a while lot more exciting soon.
The device is being called a Magic Finger and it was developed by a mixture of students from the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta together with Autodesk Research. It was introduced at the excitingly named 25th ACM Symposium on User Internet Software and Technology. Those of you who were lucky enough to go to the ACM SUIST will already know that it is a dinky little pad which goes onto your finger.
Could Work With Google Glasses
The first use which many people have thought of for the device is that of controlling smart phones. However, Tovi Grossman, who is a scientist at Autodesk Research, said that it could work very well with Google Glasses as well.
At the moment it is reported that the Magic Finger can tell 32 different textures apart with a 98.9% success rate, although the motion detection element is said to be not yet reliable enough to allow it to replace a conventional desktop mouse.