‘Table Connect’ Turns iPhone into (Fake) Big-Ass Table

This is the Table Connect, a rather wonderful-looking hardware hack which connects an iPhone to a 58-inch capacitive multi-touch display, allowing full control of the IPhone’s navigation functions, only using hands instead of fingers.

Or is it? Look closely and you’ll see that the demo-guy presses the sleep-button on the top of the iPhone as he fires up the controller “app”. What you are actually seeing in the video, unless this is some weird kind of double-bluff, is some amazingly well rehearsed mime, in which the protagonists manage to match their movements up exactly with what is going on on-screen.

Distracted by the homo-erotic excitement of zooming in on an already oversized Sly Stallone by stroking his biceps with two hands, I almost fell for this one, so well is the trick executed. Is it a pre-recorded sequence, or is this really a live display piped from another jailbroken phone being controlled off-camera by a third stooge? We may never know.


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Multitouch casing could remove buttons from iPhone, iPad

by Keith M (via: tuaw)

apple touch pattent

Back before the iPhone was formally announced, there was talk that Steve Jobs was simply not happy with the product because Apple’s engineers couldn’t figure out how to eliminate all of the physical buttons. There was just no practical way to put the functions of a power switch or home button into a touch-only interface. But all of that hasn’t stopped Apple from trying.

A recently-filed patent by Apple clearly shows that the company means business when it comes to sleek, clutter-free interfaces. This particular patent aims to take advantage of multiple sides of a device (in this case, it appears to be the iPad, as pictured), including parts of the casing, in order to perform functions that physical buttons currently handle.

Talk of an interactive case has come up before, but with this new patent, it’s clear the minds at Apple are still churning about in search for that holy grail of button-free, ultra-portable devices. I’m just not so sure there will be a way to get rid of them entirely — who wants to have to resort to a paperclip to reset their device?

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Multi-touch floor on the way, German researchers say

From iPhone to multi-touch tables, the leap has now been made to a touch-sensitive floor. The researchers are presenting their work at a user interface conference in New York next month.

While multi-touch screens are becoming more and more commonplace, German researchers are now working on integrating this same technology into floors. Users would interact with the multi-touch floor by using their feet.

“When I walk across the floor with my shoes, I get a glowing, infrared imprint of my footprints,” explained Patrick Baudisch, head of the Human Computer Interaction group at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany.

“And from that we can reconstruct where people are, and what shoes people wear because the soles are recognizable.”

The Multitoe floor would be able to identify users based on their footprints

The demonstration model of the “Multitoe” floor is about the size of a coffee table and measures about one meter by a half meter, and is raised up off the ground. The floor itself is made of a thick piece of glass, topped with a black sheet of acrylic. A camera, built-in to the floor, points up towards the ceiling.

A smart floor could show the way

According to Johannes Schoening, from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbruecken, a touch sensitive floor could open up a whole range of possibilities.

image: kay herschelmann

image: kay herschelmann

image: kay herschelmann

image: kay herschelmann

“The main advantage is you can sense what’s going on, on the floor,” he said “But now you have to think about so what can you do with that information. So for example if you are in the supermarket, you can provide navigational instructions.”

A Multitoe floor could be used for large scale visual applications, like maps

Other examples could include a smart-floor in a museum or an airport that shows you the way – or even a dance club where you can interact with the visuals on the floor.

Previously, the Sustainable Dance Club company in the Netherlands created a floor that generates power when people walk, jump and dance on it. It’s fitted with LED lights that can change color, but these use as little energy as possible because generating power is the priority.

Eric van Duin, an engineer with Sustainable Dance Club, said his company is excited about the potential of an interactive floor like the Multitoe – just as long as it doesn’t use too much power.

“Our touch experience is very limited, so maybe it would be very interesting to combine these technologies to enhance our dance floor”, he said.

Author: Cinnamon Nippard
Editor: Cyrus Farivar

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iPad competitor? New HP TouchSmart 310 PC offers improved multitouch-based software

Today HP has launched its latest Touchsmart 310 all-in-one computer today starting at an amazing $699. HP’s new TouchSmart 310 all-in-one PC sports a 2.8 GHz AMD Athlon II dual-core processor…and TouchSmart Apps.

multi touch hp

Hewlett-Packard has taken the wraps off its latest touch-driven all-in-one consumer PC, the HP TouchSmart 310, sporting a slim 20-inch multitouch-enabled display and a new version of HP’s own TouchSmart software designed to make interacting with content even easier—especially through a new TouchSmart Apps Center that will offer new free and subscription-based applications from partners like the Cartoon Network and Marvel Comics.

“Each generation of TouchSmart is a reflection of what HP has learned from its customers, complemented by the latest technologies,” said HP senior VP James Mouton, in a statement. “The TouchSmart PC’s unique interface lets users do more than just basic computing—it acts as the anchor of one’s digital lifestyle, encouraging creativity, organization, and a truly immersive experience.”

The HP TouchSmart 310 starts at $699.99 and will go on sale from September 22nd.

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(Video) MSI’s Wind Top AE2420 3D all-in-one PC

In April, NEC announced plans to release a 3D all-in-one (AIO) desktop PC sometime this year.

In the all-in-one world, the MSI Wind Top 2420 3D can be considered an overachiever. Not content with merely offering a stereoscopic display, this PC is going for broke by incorporating multitouch capabilities as well.

They were probably hoping to lay claim to being the first company to bring such a product to the market but they’ve been beaten to the punch by MSI, who is set to release its Wind Top AE2420 3D AIO PC that also boasts a touchscreen and is also the first AIO PC to feature USB 3.0 ports. Sporting a 24-inch Full HD (1080p) multi-touch display comprising a 120Hz LED panel, the AE2420 3D comes with one pair of rechargeable wireless active shutter glasses and 2D to 3D conversion capabilities.

MSI’s Wind Top AE2420 3D AIO PC will be available in the U.S. from September 20 with prices starting at US$1,799.

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Wired’s Tablet App is Impressive and Raises Questions

Wired has demoed an application for a Tablet that is running on Adobe AIR and yes it is demoed running on a Tablet. Publishers are certainly hoping this kind of effort is the future and that they will figure out a way to entice us all to pay for these things. The jury is still out on that.

I went back and looked at my records from about 12 years ago. At that time I subscribed to 14 different publications on an annual basis that were delivered by regular mail. I also bought two daily newspapers each morning and the Sunday New York Times each week at a cost then of $4.50. All told I was spending about $700 a year on all of this. That eventually stopped and those costs were simply transferred to paying for Internet access.

Several points about this.

First, you can tell how much the iPad has invaded the thinking of so many as quite a few articles about Wired’s app mentioned it as an iPad app. It was being demoed on another device. We all know Apple’s stance on Adobe’s Flash platform, and from the sound of things, Adobe might be positioning AIR as an alternative to fighting that battle, but there’s no guarantee that Apple is going to let AIR on its platform either. We’ll have to wait and see on that.

Second, Wired’s app proves that great design is going to be a key element for acceptance, in addition to content, but the technology for delivery is going to also be an important factor. Face it, publishers are going to want their content on any device they can get it on. An Adobe AIR like solution would certainly make that easier but a battle over who controls what is not going to move things along for anybody.

Third, in the longer view, Wired’s demonstration shows that there could be a resurgence in the kind of content creation and delivery that led every high school activity group to sell magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser for a good portion of the last century. The question is will we be willing to pay for it and value it in the ways we paid for content in an earlier era. Yesterday also saw a story about how their is some internal struggling going on at the New York Times over pricing of its future digital product. The circulation folks apparently want to see a monthly cost of $20 to $30, equivalent to what you pay for the paper to be dropped on your doorstep. The digital folks see a much different model of around $10 a month.

I don’t think anyone has the answers yet. The next few years will see all sorts of attempts and experiments to try and make this work on a number of levels, and somewhere in the future a model will probably evolve. But given the pace that things shift technologically these days, it is most likely going to always be a moving target. That is going to require a flexibility that will need to be learned as well for those hoping Tablets will be any sort of salvation.


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Multitouch in Chrome OS? Maybe, But Don’t Hold Your Breath

The hype around Google Chrome OS has died down a bit now that Googleunveiled its first operating system (not accounting for Android on the mobile front). Scheduled to debut in time for holiday season 2010, Google still has a lot of work ahead of it and, while we have a general idea of what the company has envisioned, a lot of the details are still lacking. One feature that got pushed into the spotlight recently is ‘touch’ thanks to the overhyped Apple iPad launch. Some people have been asking if Chrome OS gets touch, or maybe even multitouch, support and they’ve not gotten some sort of answer. The official version is ‘no’, or rather ‘no comment’, but reading between the lines reveals a ‘maybe’.
When asked whether Chrome OS gets touch support, Senior Product Manager of Search Anders Sandholm “chuckled nervously,” as TechRadarputs it, before answering, rather vaguely, “I can’t… I mean… right now we are targeting netbooks, that’s what we’re focused on, but I expect it to work well… we expect it to target everything up to desktop computers. Chrome OS will be built for a specific hardware setup.”

Chrome OS clearly aimed at netbooks

Does that mean that Google is working on touch support and isn’t revealing it yet or that the feature is still an option, but no decision has been made? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but don’t hold your breath for the feature in the first public releases coming in less than a year’s time. Google has made it very clear that the focus is on netbooks and capable ones at that.

It said that it wanted a full-blown computer with a no-compromises keyboard and a large enough screen, possibly aiming at 12 inch rather than the standard 10 inch displays in netbooks. It also intends to keep the price down to make the devices affordable and even a 10 inch touch display would certainly drive up prices considerably. One thing is for sure, touch isn’t a priority right now.

Android and iPad

That may change, of course, if the iPad becomes a runaway success, somewhat unlikely from what we’ve seen so far. However, netbooks are just the first step and Google has said it planned to conquer everything from mobile devices to desktop PCs and this very likely means that touch support will be a part of Chrome OS at some point. Let’s not forget that Google already has an OS to counter the iPad, Android, the very same OS that competes with the iPhone which, incidentally, shares its operating system with the newly launched tablet. If a hardware manufacturer would want to release an iPad competitor, Android would probably be much more suitable and Android-based tablets are already in the works.

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Fujitsu sexy new multi-touch Handheld PC UH900 now in Japan

multi touch

Announced last year in Singapore then unveiled at CES the UH900 is now also released in Japan. Not much to say here since the spec are pretty much the same with an Atom Z520 CPU at 1.33GHz, 2Gb of ram but with only 30gb of SSD instead of 62gb in Singapore, and WiMax.

But the most important point here is without a doubt its 5.6″ multi-touch screen that will make wonders on this PC. With a total weight of only 495g, the UH900 will sure find its place in many bags soon!

Finally Bathing APE (BAPE) Japan and Fujitsu joined force to create 2 unique Skin for the UH900 with the usual BAPE camo pattern.

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DigitalRise X9 multi-touch screen tablet looks like an Apple

If you expected the next generation of tablet PCs to be light on your pocket, think again. The DigitalRise X9 could be mistaken for the Apple tablet, but with a built-in NES game emulator and Windows 7 OS we quickly realize it is not.

With a decent 10.2” multi-touch screen that is dust, scratch, and fire resistant giving you a resolution of 1024 x 600, an Atom 270 processor, standard 945GS chipset, 2GB of RAM, 160 GB Sata hard drive, 3 USB slots, one card reader (SD/MS/MMC/MS-Pro) and i’m still not even finished.

The company DigitalRise is popular in the EU, so we haven’t heard much from them out this way. Let’s get on with the rest of the specs. The X9 also has built-in GPS Navigation, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Mp3-Mp5 support. A 2,800 mAh or 3,500 mAh battery are available which can provide an estimated 4 hours of play time. At 2kg with dimensions of 226.3×166.9×24.7 mm it’s not a bad size.

Software wise, it runs on Windows 7.0 OS and comes with office file viewing applications, communication software and of course, that NES game emulator.

Given a 4 star rating on ChinaGrabber (where it is available for sale), it sells for $780 ($220 off list price) and ships on February 3rd.
Source:multi touch

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