As touchscreens have taken off via tablets and smartphones, the way we interact with our gadgets has changed dramatically. But finger-to-glass input is just one option as these devices evolve. A new creation promises to move touch input to nearly any surface.
The Magic Finger, developed by Autodesk Research, the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto, is a small micro camera and optical flow sensor that attaches to your finger. The device can distinguish between surfaces like a desk, a piece of paper or even skin, can recognize 2D data matrix codes, and also features a pinch function that can be programmed to trigger computer commands. In addition to input and control functions, the device can also be used for data transfers between Magic Finger units.
Because the device can accurately sense 22 textures with an accuracy of 98.9 percent, the multimedia controller possibilities are vast. At present, the Magic Finger is still just a prototype with no commercial plans announced, but you can see it in action in the video below.