A Microsoft research team has delivered a prototype called the UnMouse that could really be a big hit. This unit is a mouse pad sized sensor that is multitouch and pressure sensitive. It is flexible and thin enough to roll up. The article mentions that the construction of the device is “dirt cheap”. This is very exciting; is this the next mouse?
The idea of having low cost multitouch input is very enticing. While there are many ways to do multitouch right now, most are limited by their large size due to projector/camera setups or high cost such as the iPhone. A portable (fits in your laptop bag) pressure sensitive multitouch input device is something that a lot of people have been craving for a while.
Just imagine the uses. Audio engineers could create new interfaces on the fly. You could draw a key map on piece of paper and just lay it on top. Graphic designers could use different sized and shaped brushes. Gamers could make their own ergonomically comfortable gaming layouts. How about covering one in Velcro and attaching buttons to it?