The race for the next revolutionary input design is an ongoing event. [Clayton Miller's] newest offering in the contest is a multitouch concept that separates the display from the screen and is meant to utilize all fingers. His video explanation includes a description of the physical input device, a software implementation, and a demonstration of how a finished system will work. After the break we’ll look at the hardware, the software, and the concept video.
The implementation is pretty simple. A pressure sensitive and proximity sensitive pad is used as the interface. The hardware can tell when your fingers are resting on it and when there are pressure increases for “clicking” inputs. This is basically a very large laptop touch-pad that can also sense pressure. This removes the issue of hands obstructing the screen that you encounter with multi-touch displays.
[Clayton] goes further with his design. He’s come up with a Graphic User Interface concept that should be incredibly simple to implement. The example is a Linux-based system that modifies how, where, and when menus and windows are used. The multi-touch pad has zones to the left and right edges that control the menu system. A single finger acts in the same way a mouse cursor does. Two fingers work for click-and-drag as well as pinch zooming. Three fingers do the same for different windows.
The video is well made and the concept seems like it could be right around the corner. Possible caveats to widespread adoption include the learning curve for a transition from a mouse to this, as well as the dexterity necessary to use it well. We’d like to get our hands on one, and would be interested in working with something similar to the BumpTop to manage data and organize our digital storage in a more physical way.