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Touchless Gestures – the next frontier of touch technology

Big changes in touch and interactivity are coming quickly (see the Top 5 Touch Trends segment) and the concept of “touchless gestures” or enhanced motion recognition has the potential to change a lot of what we know about touch. The good news for touch screen manufacturers is that this touchless technology is a long way off  from claiming any sizable share of the marketplace for a couple of reasons:

1)  Let’s face it, touchless gestures are not yet practical for many touch screen applications.
2)  These emerging technologies are still largely in their infancy.
3)  The market hasn’t found a good place for them yet.

But touchless gestures are a cool idea, and are, no doubt, part of our interactive future. The popularity of Nintendo’s Wii, has demonstrated the need for enhanced motion recognition and digital interaction with display devices. And now Sony, with the Move, and Microsoft, with Kinect, have signaled a substantial response to the Wii, enabling much more sophisticated interactive capabilities [Mark Fihn, Top 5 Touch Trends].

This video below from the Virtopsy Project shows that there is, in fact, huge potential for these motion recognition devices and demonstrates how Microsoft’s Kinect can be used to control a Medical PACS system. I dont think the technology is quite where it needs to be, but the Virtopsy Project presents some real food for thought.

See the Virtopsy Project in motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6CT-YDChmE

Signing out.

Touch Girl.

Top 5 Touch Trends

Top 5 Touch TrendsTouch trends you need to know to keep your business on track
By Mark Fihn, Veritas et Visus

Highlighting some of the exciting developments that will likely expand the touch market over the next few years, Mark Fihn, Veritas et Visus, gives you the inside scoop to keep your business ahead of the curve. Fihn forecasts where the market is headed, which technologies are showing strong growth and what touch products are on the rise. Read the full article to learn more.

Do I need to consider integrating multi-touch into the next generation of my touch products? – Joe Kennedy, New Mexico

Dear Joe:

Touch guy recalls, as a young lad, seeing the brand new and largely passenger free 747’s landing at LAX – this was called the Judas Goat phenomena because no self-respecting airline would be without the behemoth, even though they hardly had enough money to buy one and there was not enough passengers to fill one.

The same concept applies to touch screens. Multi-touch projected capacitive has rapidly grown to be the second largest selling touch-technology (behind analog resistive), even though, other than pinch and expand, there are hardly any software programs that make use of all those fingers. Microsoft has demanded 10-finger touch with lightening quick response to even be considered worthy of being certified.

So, yes, Joe, I do not even have to ask what your product is, you have to do it, and hope that the need comes – just like the passengers that eventually filled the 747’s… There are two real and important reasons why you need to do it, the most important is that projected capacitive will not wear out and the second is that the image quality is really excellent. Add to that, the prices are expected to fall by 50% sometime this year and you have everything you need to make the plunge. And if your application requires pressure sensing (screwdrivers, long fingernails and scalpels), you can now pick the MARS multi-touch product.

Until next time,
Touch Guy