November 9, 2008

You scratch my back, I’ll move your pointer

Original Post from September 28th 2007.

This Information week article reports that Microsoft is working on this interesting twist on the "touchscreen" where a portable computing device has a normal touchscreen on the front side and a touch surface on the back of it.

This shows a simulated view of the users hand and fingers as if the display was semi-transparent!

Why do this? They state "early tests on the prototype revealed that "many users found touching on the back to be preferable to touching on the front, due to reduced occlusion, higher precision, and the ability to make multi-finger input."

I do think that when I holding a device like this (i.e. without a keyboard, maybe like an eBook) in front of me I tend to want to have more of my hands behind it than in front of it, mainly due to weight and perceived fragility of it - but a touch screen forces you to have a lot of your hand and fingers in front of it.

This means you don't have it held as firmly as maybe you should (or would like to) and/or that you are continually changing your hand position back and forth when reading/ maybe this idea has some mileage.

I assume it will differentiate between your fingers and your lap, knees, a desk, etc etc..

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