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Smart Sensors Power Interaction

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More than 70 demonstrations of interactive technologies that use sensors for a wide range of applications were showcased at the Human Computer Interaction conference's Open House Festival in Britain.

The Open University's e-Sense project has developed a corset equipped with vibrating motors found in cell phones to facilitate "tummy vision" — a way for visually impaired users to sense images picked up by a camera so that they can play a game. The camera follows a player's gloved hand as well as a ball rolled across a table divided into 16 sections. Each table section corresponds to one of the cell phone motors embedded in the corset. As the ball rolls toward the player, the motor's vibrations track across the player's stomach so that the player can guess where to grab the ball before it rolls off the table. The corset is built from inexpensive, commercially available components and programmed with open source software.

Another demo exploits the ability of linear motors found in modern handsets to be programmed to vibrate at different speeds and within a wide spectrum of frequencies to impart specific tactile sensations to a user's fingertips.

The University of Glasgow's Stephen Brewster has developed a touch screen with buttons that can be programmed to mimic the sensation of touching a keyboard or an old mobile keypad.

From BBC News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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