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German Researcher Creates Touchscreen On Steroids

According to a German researcher, you might end up with a future control model for mainstream applications. A German researchers at Fraunhofer said he has developed a multi-touch interface in which a 3D camera records and processes gestures on a finger movement level in real time.

"We are using a camera that, instead of providing color information, provides pixel for pixel the distance of how far a certain point is from the camera," said Researcher Georg Hackenberg. "Basically this is achieved by means of a type of gray-scale image where the shade of gray represents the distance of the objects. The camera also provides three-dimensional information that the system evaluates with the help of special algorithms," he said.

The obvious difference to Microsoft's Kinect is that the system can be trained to recognize gestures and do so down to recognizing details such as fingers instead just hands as the Kinect does. According to Hackenberg this could enable a system in a car to possibly understand the exact movements of a driver in a car and detect which buttons are touched in which way. He also believes that such 3D cameras could make their way into mobile applications and be used in notebooks and smartphones.