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Control Your Phone Through Your Pants by Touching Yourself

By - Source: Microsoft Research | B 37 comments

The technology will make smartphones even more convenient, and junior high school jokes even more immature.

Not content with simply gobbling up patent-sharing deals with consumer tech companies the world over, Microsoft is also at work on some rather interesting tech of their own. We've already seen the incredible Omnitouch, developed in concert with Carnegie Mellon, that promises to turn almost anything into a multi-touch screen and now they're giving us a peek at PocketTouch, a prototype multi-touch capacitive sensor placed on the back of a smartphone. The sensors enable 'eyes free' input directly through the fabric of whatever one is currently using to store their phone and supports a range of gestures from simple strokes to complex numerical or alphabetic commands.

“People already try to interact with a computing device through fabric,” says Scott Saponas, a member of Microsoft's Computational Experiences group. “Think of when you try to reach through your pocket to the slider that silences your phone. We wanted to take a different spin by asking: Can we use a higher-bandwidth touch surface to provide a wider range of actual input?”

One of the biggest challenges developing PocketTouch was orientation. Users very often attempt to manipulate their phones through pockets or bags, but as the devices often shift around (or the the user simply forgets which side faces out), accurate inputting is not likely. This problem was resolved by using an unlock gesture that also determines the plane of coordination and initializes PocketTouch for use. So long as the phone remains stable from that point forward, PocketTouch can work from any direction.

The developers also had to resolve the problem of pattern recognition, which was overcome by adapting existing Windows features. Tests on a variety of fabrics and thicknesses proved successful, and though PocketTouch is far from ready for consumer rollout, it will be shown off at the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, held this week in Santa Barbara, California. A video describing it in greater detail has been posted to YouTube, embedded here for your convenience.

PocketTouch

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    ravensharpless , October 20, 2011 9:36 AM
    Title made me lol.
  • 21 Hide
    joytech22 , October 20, 2011 9:26 AM
    I love the title haha.
  • 13 Hide
    brn_gomes , October 20, 2011 9:25 AM
    "Control Your Phone Through Your Pants by Touching Yourself".... This... This is just wrong, seriously, I asked 5 different people here at work, male or female, all thought the same thing... Either the author of this title intended it to be a joke, or otherwise you should really change the title 'cause it's really misleading. lol
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 20, 2011 9:20 AM
    nice headline(cptypty)!
    gripping idea by carnegie mellon.
    people can share files just by bumping into each other.
    "look i am playing guitar hero with myself!" or
    "no, i am just trying to use swype!"
    technology rules!
  • 13 Hide
    brn_gomes , October 20, 2011 9:25 AM
    "Control Your Phone Through Your Pants by Touching Yourself".... This... This is just wrong, seriously, I asked 5 different people here at work, male or female, all thought the same thing... Either the author of this title intended it to be a joke, or otherwise you should really change the title 'cause it's really misleading. lol
  • 21 Hide
    joytech22 , October 20, 2011 9:26 AM
    I love the title haha.
  • 6 Hide
    stereopsis , October 20, 2011 9:31 AM
    Hmm...I am trying to decide whether this is actually useful.
  • -8 Hide
    stereopsis , October 20, 2011 9:32 AM
    The title definitely needs revision. Surely Tom's readers don't have to be attracted by smutty headlines.
  • 21 Hide
    ravensharpless , October 20, 2011 9:36 AM
    Title made me lol.
  • 12 Hide
    cognoscentiable , October 20, 2011 10:03 AM
    Ross A. Lincoln - Best Headline Award 2011
  • -8 Hide
    officeguy , October 20, 2011 10:22 AM
    Quote:
    Control Your Phone Through Your Pants by Touching Yourself
    Reading the artical and the headline again, it wasn't even funny to me. Sorry Ross, try again.
  • 9 Hide
    bebangs , October 20, 2011 10:43 AM
    Through Your Pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Touching Yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i was like??? so i should use mine like a joystick?

    ^_^ lols.

    article and the picture is very different. title is misleading
  • -5 Hide
    marshcorps , October 20, 2011 10:56 AM
    Ya, where is the "touching yourself" part? You touch the phone. It isn't like you are going to have touch any part of your body ... just your phone. Stupid headline.
  • 0 Hide
    SoiledBottom , October 20, 2011 11:23 AM
    Now every time I make a phone call all I hear on the other end is...Stop playing with your self
  • 7 Hide
    onanonanon , October 20, 2011 12:30 PM
    Oh come on! That was a fantastic title! Some of the posters here have absolutely no sense of humor...
  • 10 Hide
    firvagor , October 20, 2011 12:37 PM
    Taking butt-dialing to the next level.
  • 1 Hide
    acadia11 , October 20, 2011 12:50 PM
    Communicator , now all I need is a crescent on my breast pocket.
  • -3 Hide
    acadia11 , October 20, 2011 12:50 PM
    Is this art imitating life, or life imitating star trek.
  • -2 Hide
    killerclick , October 20, 2011 12:54 PM
    There is nothing about the title of this article that I didn't like!
  • 3 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 20, 2011 12:55 PM
    Are you playing with yourself?
    ...
    Nah, just sending a text
  • 5 Hide
    jsc , October 20, 2011 1:19 PM
    stereopsisThe title definitely needs revision. Surely Tom's readers don't have to be attracted by smutty headlines.

    Yes, we do.
  • 0 Hide
    CKKwan , October 20, 2011 1:38 PM
    In will be impressive if I can control my phone in my pants using my little brother...
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , October 20, 2011 2:02 PM
    Some of us still have phones with buttons, which are entirely pants friendly!
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