new input devices for simulation

The project description is here, although the video players are better at veoh and at youtube.

According to the creators,

Since refining the FTIR (frustrated total internal reflection) sensing technique, we’ve been experimenting with a wide variety of application scenarios and interaction modalities that utilize multi-touch input information. These go far beyond the “poking” actions you get with a typical touchscreen, or the gross gesturing found in video-based interactive interfaces. It is a rich area for research, and we are extremely excited by its potential for advances in efficiency, usability, and intuitiveness. It’s also just so much fun!

Our technique is force-sensitive, and provides unprecedented resolution and scalability, allowing us to create sophisticated multi-point widgets for applications large enough to accommodate both hands and multiple users.

The video shows a great example of how the interface could be used with cartography and GIS (e.g., think of how it could be integrated with Google Earth!). I think it has enormous implications for environmental modelling, simulation, presentation and group work. Just think about how it could be used in describing the impacts of climate change or exploring future scenarios in community planning.

2 Responses to “new input devices for simulation”

  1. I wonder if we look at the hype around the introduction of the mouse to interact with a computer screen, if we would see interesting parallels in addressing accessibility and efficiency.

  2. sieber says:

    Interesting point. There’s lots of hype around any new input device. All the same, current applications such as GIS have TERRIBLE user interfaces. There’s got to be something better.