|20 Apr 2010||#1|
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Are you ready for Skinput?
Harrison, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University and a former intern at Microsoft Research, has developed a working prototype of a system called Skinput that does just that, essentially by turning a person's hand and forearm into a keyboard and screen.
"People don't love the iPhone keyboard. They use them. But they don't love them," Harrison said in a interview at the recent Computer-Human Interaction conference. "If you could make the iPhone keyboard as big as an arm -- that would be huge."
Using Skinput, a person could tap their thumb and middle finger together to answer a call; touch their forearm to go to the next track on a music player; or flick the center of their palm to select a menu item.
All of these sign-language-like movements, which are customizable, would control a gadget in a person's pocket through a Bluetooth connection.
When fitted with a pico-projector, the Skinput system could display an image of a digital keyboard on a person's forearm. So, using Skinput, someone could send text messages by tapping his or her arm in certain places -- without pulling the phone out of a pocket or purse.
"You could pretty much do a lot of what you do on your iPhone," said Harrison, who says Skinput "is [like having] your iPhone on your palm."
The system, which has been under development for eight months, won't be commercially available for two to seven years, said Dan Morris, a Microsoft researcher who is working with Harrison on Skinput.
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