Maybe you have already heard in the last day or two about the innovative Magic Finger research. The Magic Finger turns any surface into a touch interface. Magic Finger is a research project from Autodesk Research in collaboration with the University of Toronto and University of Alberta.
The Magic Finger will also be featured on the Canadian Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet show which airs at 7pm EST tonight.
Magic Finger inverts the typical relationship between the finger and an interactive surface: with Magic Finger, we instrument the user's finger itself, rather than the surface it is touching. Magic Finger senses touch through an optical mouse sensor, enabling any surface to act as a touch screen. Magic Finger also senses texture through a micro RGB camera, allowing contextual actions to be carried out based on the particular surface being touched. A technical evaluation shows that Magic Finger can accurately sense 22 textures with an accuracy of 98.9%. We explore the interaction design space enabled by Magic Finger, and implement a number of novel interaction techniques that leverage its unique capabilities.
Here are some of the latest articles about the Magic Finger research:
I thought a little deeper on another angle on the research topic with regards to our Autodesk design & visualization software users like Revit, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, 3ds Max, Maya, Sketchbook, etc.
How do you view using another innovative interface to interact and augment the use of the software? Imagine concept sketching using your finger on any surface or refining textures, materials, lighting or modifying a 3D model. I know there are many of us that people will have to pry the keyboards from our cold hands when we die, but many are also open to new methods and interactions as technology and innovation are always evolving to solve current problems.
I have personally always believed when I was designing that the lag causing the most problems for me was not the idea or concept but the translation from my brain to the computer using commands icons etc. <insert USB port in the head joke here>. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could take away much of the software and input interaction and allow you to free flow the design to the computer with greater speed?
So…what do you think, would you be open to new methods like the Magic Finger in addition to the old ways? Post your comments below.
Disclaimer: Autodesk Research is core part of the team I am on serving in the Office of the CTO here at Autodesk.