For the moment, your arsenal of touchscreen gestures is effectively limited by the number of fingers you can use, a ten-finger gesture isn’t going to be particularly helpful for most of us. New tech that can tell the difference between fingertips, knuckles, and fingernails however, could throw some more variables into the mix.
Chris Harrison, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, has managed to modify a Samsung Galaxy SIII to accept input from all three different touch variations, and tell the difference between them. The modified phone accomplishes this magic with the help of a small vibration sensor and a bit of software which listen for the acoustic differences that come with different kind of touches.
Harrison has already started a company, Qeexo, to start selling the tech. The vibration sensor could easily be added to any smartphone’s guts, but according to Harrison, the software is where the real magic happens. If this takes off, it could increase the library of standard touchscreen gestures practically by an order of magnitude and open up a whole new world of patterns everyone can race to patent! Here’s to hoping that first part happens, at least. [New Scientist]