I-maginary Phone: iPhone as a hand phone? (w/ video)

May 24, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Once you have had your smart phone for a while using your touch screen becomes a bit of second nature. You begin to know where you icons are and how to do things without looking down at the screen. What if that means that in order to do some of those operations from memory, you did not have to take your phone out at all?

Researchers in Germany are working on a new tool that would allow you to use your phone while it is still inside your pocket, by recreating the actions on the palm of your hand. The system, called 'Imaginary Phone', which would pair the movements that you made on your palm with the screen of your phone relies on a depth-sensitive camera that is designed to pick up the sliding and tapping motion that are made on your palm. The system uses a special software that is designed to analyze the video and send a wireless to the iPhone in question.

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The tool, which the team, led by Patrick Baudisch, professor of computer science at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, pictures this as a short term solution that is used when touching your phone would not be desirable, say when you are washing your dog or paining your living room.

The lack of visual feedback on the phone does not seem to be an issues for the users. A study submitted to the and Technology conference in October showed that about two-thirds of users could find the location of their apps with up to 80 percent accuracy.

Explore further: Palm's new smart phone synchronizes with iTunes

More information: Project page: www.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/baudisch/projects/imaginary_phone.html

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