Cambridge researchers create a touchscreen you don’t have to touch

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We’d assume at this point that every smartphone user knows that their touchscreen is one of the nastiest devices they own. The surface of a touchscreen can be packed with viruses and bacteria that have the potential to make people sick. This is a particularly significant issue in the current world climate with the coronavirus pandemic leading to illnesses that could potentially kill people.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have been working on a new type of touchscreen that doesn’t have to be touched. It’s called the “no-touch touchscreen” and was developed specifically for use in cars. Researchers believe that it could have widespread applications in the post-COVID-19 world thanks to its ability to reduce the risk pathogen transmission from the surface of devices. The patent behind the technology is known as “predictive touch” and was developed as part of research collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover.

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The tech helping dogs learn to ‘talk’ with humans

 

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Using nose-activated vests and touchscreens, our canine pals are being trained to summon help for their handlers—and much more.

Imagine you’re enjoying a pleasant stroll through the park when you hear someone say, “My owner needs your attention! Please follow me!” You look around and see no one; then you look down and see a dog staring up at you. You think someone’s pulling a fast one. But then the dog reaches around and his mouth tugs something on the yellow vest he’s wearing, and you hear it again.

“My owner needs your attention! Please follow me!” the dog seems to say again, looking at you plaintively and now beckoning with body language for you to follow him. You do, and he leads you to someone who’s having a severe allergic reaction, a seizure, or some other medical emergency.

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TapSense: New touchscreen technology recognizes different parts of the finger

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TapSense is an experimental touchscreen system, that is able to tell the difference between different parts of the user’s finger.

Devices with small touchscreens, such as smartphones, certainly have their attractions, but they also have one drawback – there isn’t much room on their little screens for touch-sensitive features. Users will sometimes have to go into sub-menus, or make do with jabbing their fingers at tiny controls. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, however, are working on an alternative. Their prototype TapSense system can differentiate between screen taps from different parts of the finger, and will perform different tasks accordingly. (Pics and video)

 

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Touchscreen Vending Machines Go Mainstream in Japan

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Touchscreen vending machine.

Japan has a love affair with vending machines. You can get anything, from hot coffee to hot noodles to fresh fruit to cigarettes, from the ubiquitous machines. So it’s only natural that they’d jump on the touchscreen vending machine bandwagon first. (Pics)

 

 

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Sharp Unveils World’s First 3D HD Camera Module For Mobile Devices

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The Next Evolution of 3D?

Sharp really believes in 3D, it seems. In the past weeks the company presented a new 3D touchscreen for mobile devices, then the world’s first four-primary 3D display, followed by a 3D e-book reader. And today Sharp in Japan unveiled [press release in English] the world’s first 3D camera module that can be used in mobile devices such as cell phones, digital cameras or portable gaming systems…

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Skinput Turns Your Arm Into a Touchscreen Display

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Skinput could solve the problem of ever shrinking gadget screens

Those who find the touchscreens on their ever shrinking gadgets too fiddly to handle, will be glad to hear scientists are developing a new touch surface… your own arm.  Developers at Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University are working together to create an armband that projects an interface directly on to your skin. (Video and Pics)

 

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Tokyo University’s Touchless Pointing System Could Wipe Out Smudgy Screens

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No Touchy, No Smudgy
Touchscreens are wondrous things, but nobody likes smudges, and attempts to magically prevent oil from sticking haven’t always found success. The proper solution might not be in fancy screen coatings but rather in removing the touchability together. Tokyo University has developed a system that uses a high-res camera to identify where a finger is in 3D space, so moving around and even air-clicking is detected. Multitouch seems to be right out at this point, and while the video after the break shows some rather deft looking typing on a dinky virtual keyboard, we’re not entirely convinced that this is the most enjoyable or ergonomic way to interact with a cellphone…

TDK Develops Method to Tint Touchscreens

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Color your world.

I’m not really sure if that’s something a lot of gadget freaks were waiting for, but here we go: TDK has found a cost-effective way to tint touchscreens. The company claims it can add color to transparent electrode sheets that serve as the basis of those screens. In the future, electrode sheets will be available in 13 colors, including red, green, blue, aquamarine, purple and black hues.

The main selling point here is to match the body of a given device with its touch screen.

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Samsung’s New Camera With Front-Facing LCD

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Samsung TL225

Points to Samsung for coming up with something that should have been common years ago: a point-and-shoot camera with front-facing LCD. It’s been a staple of cameraphones (even Samsung ones) for a while, but the TL225 is one of the first mainstream P&S cams to have the feature, making it ideal for self-portraits, something we’re told the kids are into these days. Face and smile detection are built in to help get that perfect shot.

FLEPia – World’s First Color e-Book Reader

FLEPia - World’s First Color e-Book Reader

FLEPia

That Kindle 2 – we love it, especially for reading books without pictures. But for magazines, blogs and newspapers, color is essential, and that’s where this Fujitsu FLEPia e-book reader represents a breakthrough, towering over all the rest. Shipping in Japan April 20 (and who-knows-when to the U.S.), it’s the world’s first color e-book reader. But there’s one major drawback: It costs $1000. Ouch. And we thought the Kindle’s $359 price was too high.

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Portable Sign Language Translator

Portable Sign Language Translator 

 Krown Sign Language Translator

The Sign Language Translator by Krown does just what its name implies: it takes the words you feed into it and, on its modestly sized touchscreen, plays a video of the proper hand sign. If you type in “happy,” for instance (or one of 3,500 other words), a video – acted out by a decidedly somber, almost creepy older man – plays and in a matter of seconds just about anyone could effectively communicate with the deaf or anyone who relies on sign language.

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