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Microsoft Puts Finger on 1ms Touchscreen

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Paul Dietz

Paul Dietz of Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group

Credit: PCR

Microsoft researchers are studying how touchscreen users could have a better experience by improving a device's latency.

The researchers, led by Microsoft Applied Sciences Group's Paul Dietz, created a test scenario to examine different time periods of latencies, from 100 milliseconds (ms) down to 1 ms time delays.

Dietz says the numbers correspond to the moment the finger touches the screen and the response of the interacting object to the touch of the finger. With touch devices that have a response time of 100 ms, the image is 100 ms behind the finger touch. However, if that delay could be lowered to 1 ms, the user might experience a better sense of control and a sense of heightened interaction between user and machine. Dietz says this is particularly obvious in drawing on the tablet, with the finger in the accelerated response able to feel the drawing of squiggly lines.

He says mobile users involved in gaming or drawing, such as engineers, architects, scientists, and artists, would especially recognize the advantages of bringing down latency. "What we have done is that we set a bar for where we would like to head," Dietz says.

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