With the emergence of the Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone 3G in the world, it seems that the future is the touch screen technology. Microsoft Surface also uses touch screen technology. If in case Microsoft Surface reaches the Philippines, I hope we could have it as our electronic blackboard for our computer laboratory so that it will be easy for us to make class demonstration and introduction of the computer lessons. It’s cool that you simply touch things on your e-board and you can undo, redo, copy and paste, write on it without leaving any ink smudges on your hands. Hi-tech!
Regarding touch screen tech, actually this technology is already present for several years already. People usually used it when they do transactions on Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and the only new on this age is that you can have the touch screen on top of your hands. But do you know that LM3LABS is developing a new technology on their laptops that incorporates a touchless navigation. Touchless! No more oil and dirt build up on the screen cause by touching. The said new feature of the laptop is called “AirStrike” (i thought it was a PC game). AirStrike uses tiny charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras integrated into each side of the keyboard to detect user movements. This Airstrike-equipped laptop will be available next year (in other countries and I don’t know here in the Philippines, even MS Surface I’m not sure if it is already available in the Philippines).
Another touchless technology concept that was applied for patent by Nokia last year after the realease of iPhone was the Nokia S60 3D Touchless device control interface. This technology from Nokia uses Ultrasonic Transducers (USTs) which arrayed around the perimeter of the display. Ultrasonic transducers emit ultrasonic sound waves that propagate through air. When finger gets into the path of these waves, the signal is reflected back and detected by the transducer. This is just a concept and the much awaited Nokia Tube (1st Generation Nokia Touchscreen, my guess) might not feature this concept yet.
Still, I want to see the Microsoft Surface first before this AirStrike system. Touch first before Touchless, because I believe that you can not appreciate the beauty of Touchless technology if you never felt what is the “Touch”. 🙂
Read http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/10/db.touchless/index.html for details about LM3LABS’ AirStrike technology and http://www.unwiredview.com/2008/01/08/first-glimpse-inside-nokia-s60-touch-going-beyond-multi-touch/ for the detail description of the Nokia S60 3D Touchless.