Researchers at Autodesk Research, the University of Alberta, and the University of Toronto have presented a new device called Magic Finger, which enables a user's gestures to control smartphones or tablets.
A small plastic casing holds the components, and there is an attached micro camera and optical flow sensor. The Magic Finger senses texture through the camera, enabling actions to be carried out according to the surface being touched, such as wood or cloth. The researchers emphasize that this instrumentation is what makes the Magic Finger unique. "We propose finger instrumentation, where we invert the relationship between finger and sensing surface: With Magic Finger, we instrument the user's finger itself, rather than the surface it is touching," they say.
Results show that Magic Finger recognizes 22 environmental textures and 10 artificial textures with an overall accuracy of 98.9 percent, but at present the hardware still needs to be connected to a nearby host PC. For the device to become completely standalone, the researchers say they need to consider additional power and communication requirements.
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