Pocket touchscreen could be the future


You can more or less say that Apple’s smartphone has changed the way we look at smartphones – previously, those tend to be behemoths in their own right, sporting an extremely large form factor with most probably a QWERTY keyboard snuck in somewhere – be it a slide-out keyboard or a horizontal clamshell format. Touchscreen keyboards have certainly taken off since the iPhone’s introduction to the world in 2007, and they are set to stay. In fact, many other devices these days come with a touchscreen display – anything less than that, and chances are your fingers themselves would not feel comfortable.

In fact, most of us disconnect from our family and friends physically in order to connect with our mates over a smartphone, and most of the time if it isn’t a Blackberry, our fingers would be dancing merrily across a touchscreen display. I find it rather disturbing that the younger generation tend to remain aloof at a dining table or social setting, and taking away their smartphones might be deemed as a punishment worse than death! Well, for those who feel that they absolutely cannot leave their smartphones alone for five minutes, here is a new touchscreen prototype that might be a game changer – it can be used to send text messages even when concealed in your pocket.

This stealthy screen works whenever it is touched through the fabric, and works with silk, cotton and even thick fleece. Whether you are at class or in a meeting, you can always rest a fingertip discreetly on the pocket with the touchscreen facing up, while tracing messages which should not be too hard for someone like you who has gotten so used to touch typing without even have to look at the screen. After all, this prototype touchscreen can understand such scrawling messages thanks to a program that deciphers such handwriting.

Doing so, you need not break eye contact with your group, although they might wonder why are you tracing out stuff on your pants pocket, with the risk of being labeled as a pervert if your touchscreen is located extremely near your groin. Known as PocketTouch, this technology was created by the Microsoft researchers T. Scott Saponas and Hrvoje Benko with Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University.


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