Imaginary iPhone Redefines Meaning Of Palmtop

on Monday, May. 23rd

Remember when it was called “palmtop computing” — back before the advent of the iPhone sent the PDA the way of the Dodo? There’s a good chance a trio of engineers (Sean Gustafson, Patrick Baudisch and Christian Holz) at Potsdam University in Germany remember the term, since they’ve found a way to turn gestures and touches in the palm of their hands into cellphone commands.

Using a camera similar to the one found in Microsoft’s Kinect device, these scientists have broken ground on what may be the next level of gesture based computing.

From the article in New Scientist:

In their tests, the depth camera was a clunky head mounted device. “But ultimately, we envision the camera becoming so small that it integrates into clothing, such as the button of a shirt, a brooch, or a pendant. So people would not even notice if someone carries an imaginary phone,” [Patrick] Baudisch told New Scientist.

“We envision that users will initially use imaginary phones as a shortcut to operate the physical phones in their pockets. As users get more experienced, it might even become possible to leave the device at home and spend the day ‘all-imaginary’.”

So that’s one possible future: we’ll all be waving around our arms and making arcane gestures with our hands while talking to people who aren’t physically there.

[source: Hasso Plattner Institute via New Scientist]

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