Hardware

Research into two-way display screens


When was the last time that you wished there was a better way to view your cell phone screen while you dragged a contact or a map? Researchers at Microsoft and Mitsubishi have developed a prototype semi-transparent screen that lets users manipulate screen from both the front and the back.

The key concept underlying the technology, called LucidTouch, is to use fingers to manipulate the screen while not blocking the content on the screen. The user performs the actions behind the screen, while an image of the points of contact or fingers are projected on the front screen in an unobtrusive manner.

With the advent of more powerful devices and more media intensive applications, portable devices will be the grounds for immense innovation in UI technologies.

Here's a quote from Technology Review's article about two-sided touch screens:

As touch screens shrink, says Scott Klemmer, a professor of computer science at Stanford University, one of the biggest problems users face is inadvertently covering up content with their fingers. LucidTouch, he says, "distinguishes itself in two ways: first, it provides better feedback about where you are ... and the other distinction is that it's multitouch."

What innovations would make your mobile UI experience better? Perhaps some ideas you mention here may be food for thought for further research. TechRepublic members, please fire away!

4 comments
Lei Fan
Lei Fan

Wow....Minority Report???

links
links

It is pretty darn cool but there is the issue that comes with all new and cool technologies...Can the implement it in the real world? Is it viable commercially? Because I've been hearing of really cool new technologies that never made it to the street...Let's hope this one does... Sony AIT1

pr.arun
pr.arun

What are your ideas on innovating the UI of mobile devices?

gwcarter
gwcarter

I use a Cingular 8525, which integrates a cellphone and a WinMobile 5.0 PDA. The device nominally provides voice-operated dialing, but that has proven difficult to activate and use. There is no readily-available technical manual, and the QWERTY keyboard that so attracted me is almost useless, since it has a complex set of shift keys one must use to type any normal st of text. The ATT people offer no attachable keyboards, so normal text input while away from my workstation is pointless. This is a potential application for voice technology, but the mobile PDA market is more about moving product than about innovating to meet consumer demand. I think this is a dead-end market unless someone comes up with a more convenient UI than the lame imitations of a PC UI it has now. My device could easily be vioce-enabled to operate the entire UI, but the lack of meaningful technical documentation will stymie any attempt to either do that or use the result.

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