Attention all computer savvy people out there, busy making frequent clicks with their mouse…soon you may be parting ways with this tiny computer associate. Yes, soon the mouse could become history as a new device enables you to work without it. Named as 3DTouch this device hangs on to the end of your finger and enable your three dimensional virtual interaction with computers.
The way in which humans interact with computers has been dominated by the mouse since it was invented in the 1960s. However, when we use the device, we’re limited to two-dimensional movements.
Two IT enthusiasts Anh Nguyen and Amy Banic from the University of Wyoming in the US have created an intelligent thimble that can sense its position accurately in three-dimensions and respond to a set of preprogrammed gestures that allow the user to interact with objects in a virtual three-dimensional world.
Both of techno experts wished to create a cheap device that works as a universal input for more or less any computing device. They want to make it as small and unobtrusive as possible so that it can be easily transported.
How the device works
The new device, 3DTouch, being dubbed as an effective alternative to the mouse rests on the end of a finger, equipped with a 3D accelerometer, a 3D magnetometer and 3D gyroscope. That allows the data from each sensor to be compared and combined to produce a far more precise estimate of orientation than a single measurement alone. The 3DTouch also has an optical flow sensor that measures the movement of the device against a two-dimensional surface, exactly like that inside an ordinary mouse.
Researchers have also built in a number of mouse-like gestures that allow a user to interact with 3-D objects, by selecting and dragging them. They have tested their new device to measure its pointing accuracy and say that it is reasonably good.