back to article So fondleable Windows 8 didn't work out so well: Why not try it IN 3D?

A San Francisco-based startup has come up with a gadget it claims can turn any surface into a 3D interface for your PC or mobile device – and it wants $100,000 in funding to get the thing off the drawing board. Haptix Touch is a camera-based detection system. The point is to replace the mouse with fingers waved around within …

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  1. an it guy

    I really like it, but

    The main thing I would want is bluetooth/wireless connectivity.

    Imagine a media centre and screen that you have on the far side of the room, and a you're working at a kitchen which is messy. this would be an excellent control system to point at a surface (e.g. kitchen) and you could just control things remotely. I'd not want to string a cable that far. So long as it had both battery power and powered via the USB/HDMI cable that seems to be used, this would be excellent.

    Another use case would be lounging around on the sofa with said aforementioned Media centre, and not wanting to use a remote keyboard.

    1. David Webb

      Re: I really like it, but

      But when you start stuffing the chicken in the kitchen, which movie do you think the media player will start to play? Not very good when you've invited the vicar over for Sunday lunch.

      1. an it guy

        Re: I really like it, but

        I was thinking of having a spare bit of surface. it could be a wall, or heck a ceiling. All it seems to need is a flat surface.

        1. DaLo
          Facepalm

          Re: I really like it, but

          "I was thinking of having a spare bit of surface. it could be..."

          Whoosh

  2. stucs201

    The machine was rather difficult to operate.

    For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive - you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.

  3. not_equal_to_null
    FAIL

    Well done...

    ... you seem to have invented Leap Motion...

  4. Norman Hartnell
    Unhappy

    You know you're getting old when...

    Either they deliberately picked the youngest members of staff for the video, or I'm getting old. Sigh.

  5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    I assumed that this gadget would track the position of your fingers on or near the screen, thereby providing a rough and ready touch-screen. Instead, it seems to track fingers near the keyboard. How does is differentiate between pointing and typing?

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      @Kubla Cant re.

      I assume it monitors keypresses, since that's what happens when you type.

  6. Christian Berger Silver badge

    So... where is the advantage?

    I mean this system only solves one problem of touch interfaces and that is smudgy displays.

    In the situations shown, a simple keyboard would have been the better choice

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: So... where is the advantage?

      I mean this system only solves one problem of touch interfaces and that is smudgy displays"

      As pointed out in the video, it also keeps your hands/wrists in a more natural position. That will reduce the risk of RSi or even just tired arms using a touch screen in a desk top situation. The auto switch-off when you start typing looks good too.

      I've never been one for defending touch in the desktop environment but this looks very useful as a mouse replacement for many situations, especially as more people become familiar with and expect a touch interface from smartphone usage. I don't think the video did them any favours by showing the device attached to the top of a laptop screen and using the keyboard as the touch surface though. It would have made better sense to demonstrate on a desktop PC with the keyboard easily pushed out of the way or the touch area defined off to one side.

  7. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Laying the Groundwork

    This will come in handy with the invention of the practical holographic projectors.

  8. Asok Asus

    The heck with 3D, I'm waiting for the 4D version. Or maybe even 5D.

  9. ChaosFreak

    A HUGE Improvement for RSI Sufferers

    For those of us who have lived through RSI (and continue to live with it) having a point/touch device that replaces the mouse and doesn't require you to constantly take your hand off the keyboard, reach out to the side, manipulate the mouse and then put your hand back on the keyboard, is a real necessity. The "trackpoint" on the old IBM Thinkpads was a good device for achieving this. I'm hoping the Haptix delivers a similar mouse replacement with the added advantage of understanding many more gestures. I've already ordered mine.

    BTW, they exceeded their $100K goal already.

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