November 13, 2007

Your interface blows (literally)

While we’re waiting for Photoshop to connect with Martian ocular implants, researchers have been busy building crafty new interface tech.  Photoshop engineer John Peterson writes, "Some folks at the Georgia Institute of Technology have
found a way to do cursor control/selection by blowing on the
screen. The amazing part is it needs no extra hardware, they just
use the microphone already built in to your laptop."  Check out the video, as well as the team’s research paper (PDF).

Apparently others have had the same idea.  Photoshop UI designer Julie Meridian reports, "The Nintendo DS has a built-in microphone and does something similar for
games, like WarioWare Touched! where the goals are things like blowing
up balloons, flying a kite, etc."  And we’ve joked about enabling blowing on natural media simulations in order to do things like moving or drying ink.

Elsewhere on the New UI front, Bryan Hughes points out that all new Volkswagens are due to get touch screens.  If I ever upgrade my Jetta (damn 1.8 mi commute making that unlikely), maybe I can look forward to doing an iPhone style pinch to zoom in on a map–as I zoom into a ravine.

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