Infrared Sensors to make your Touchscreen Obsolete

October 21 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Technology   Year: 2010   Rating: 9 Hot

Tired of mucking about with your touchscreen? Constantly having to worry about scratching the screen in your pocket? Wiping the face of it with your t-shirt to get your greasy finger marks off it? Microsoft may have an answer.

SideSight, a prototype by Microsoft, uses Infrared proximity sensors to determine which way you want to spin or expand the screen of your smartphone. “The sensors can read inputs up to 10 centimeters away, just through reflected infrared light.” This way you can browse through your phone without having to worry about mucking up your screen.

While this technology is limited (for instance, you need a flat surface for the sensors to work), it shows some amazing potential for future phone interactions. By placing sensors all around the phone, you will be able to use your hands directly in front of the screen in order to shuffle through images or browse sites. Being able to tell exactly where your hands are gives you the added bonus of being able to control the interface with individual fingers or your hand position itself, something the touchscreen can only do through physical contact.

Using Veins as Identification Protects Your Identity No Matter What

November 17 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

If there’s one thing movies have shown us, it’s that identifying people through biometrics can be flawed. Blood can be faked (GATTACA), eyes can be removed for retinal scans (Demolition Man), voices can be recorded (Sneakers) and fingerprints can be used from the guard you just used the Vulcan neck-pinch on (Spaceballs).

But have you ever thought of using your veins as an identification device?

The Hitachi Vein ID bounces Infrared Light from multiple angles which is “partially absorbed by hemoglobin in the veins and the pattern is captured by a camera as a unique 3D finger vein profile.” Veins are believed to be even more unique than fingerprints — even twins have different vein patterns.

Are veins the answer to biometric data theft concerns?

The great thing about veins is that, since they are located within the body and are invisible to the naked eye, they are incredibly hard to forge. One would have to have a scan of your vein structure and build a replica, something even crazy evil scientists might have a problem with. On top of this, if someone were to chop off your finger to access your data, the blood would drain out of your finger making vein identification useless (no blood, skinny veins).

What can we expect in the future?

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Apple Aplies for Mysterious Patent, OLED Touchscreen On The Way?

December 05 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

A while back I reported on Microsoft's prototype called the SideSight, a cellphone which uses infrared sensors to determine your hand movement.  Now it turns out Apple has applied for a patent on just that.

apple.jpg

Sure, the image isn't too clear, but what you see is a possible infrared sensor array using LEDs or OLEDs as the sensor.  You'll be able to rotate displays with just a wave of your hand if you bring it close to the screen.  It doesn't stop there too.  Apparently they're looking into the same technology for a possible OLED iPhone that will feature these sensors.  Now THAT would be awesome.

via OLED-display.net