With smartphones quickly enveloping our lives, many have become well acquainted to the oh so popular multi-touch interface. Multi-touch allows users to navigate their devices with multiple fingers. This technology has proven to be highly successful on smartphones as well as the recently popular tablet devices. But, there’s one thing keeping multi-touch from reaching its full potential. The home computer.
As much of an on the go world as this is, many people still prefer to do work on their desktops or laptops in the confines of their own home. These devices possess processing power and memory storage much faster and bigger than our smartphones and tablets. But intuitive multi-touch isn’t an easy translation. One group hopes to be bridging that gap this very minute.
The Media Computing Group has designed an early prototype of a horizontal and vertical multi-touch device. The BendDesk, as it is being called, will allow users to move on screen elements from the horizontal section of the desk to the vertical section. The desk will also read up to ten touch points (one for each finger). A few test programs are being ran, each of which emulates real programs we use every day. These include photo editing programs as well as multi-touch video games.
This BendDesk uses two projectors and three cameras to present the images on the vertical and horizontal screens. The horizontal portion is designed to also work as a desk for holding the user’s items.
The BendDesk marks a huge step forward for home multi-touch. While we’ve seen the multi-touch implemented on a small scale via laptop track pads, the desktop computer is a completely different beast. We have seen desktop touch pad innovation in the form of the Magic Trackpad though. The Magic Track Pad allows Mac users to control their desktop in a way very similar to most laptops. Swiping, scrolling and even clicking made possible without the use of a mouse.
But, while the BendDesk shows multi-touch promise like we’ve never seen before, we shouldn’t get too excited just yet. This is only a prototype that has no estimated release window, let alone an estimated price.