New Technology FingerIO for Touch Screens Works Without Touching

FingerIO, the new sonar technology allows a person interact with a touch screen by drawing or indicating in the air or on an adjoining surface.

New Technology FingerIO for Touch Screens Works Without Touching

According to a news release, a group of computer scientists and electrical engineers at the University of Washington created the overwhelming technology, named FingerIO.

The technology could make it much easier for a person press buttons, scroll, turn up volume or accomplish other tasks without even touching the tiny screens found on smartwatches or other gadgets.

“You can’t type very easily onto a smartwatch display, so we wanted to transform a desk or any area around a device into an input surface.”

Study lead author Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, a University of Washington doctoral student, revealed in a statement.

“I don’t need to instrument my fingers with any other sensors — I just use my finger to write something on a desk or any other surface and the device can track it with high resolution.”

To trace finger movements, Finger IO transforms a smartphone or smartwatch into a sonar system using the device’s speakers and microphones. The device’s speaker places a silent sound wave, which springs off a finger. The device then records the activity and analyzes where the finger is situated. Though sonar echoes are usually frail, researchers utilized another signal often used in wireless communication to make the tracing more accurate.

Researchers made a prototype for an Android device and uploaded it to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and smartwatch, to asses the technology. The devices had been particularly designed to have two microphones, which was necessary in order to track finger movements in two dimensions. They also said that the technology operates when a device is placed in a pocket or covered by fabric.

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