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Start-up promises complete touch control

Start-up promises complete touch control

The Anywhere Multitouch from Paris-based Sensitive Object promises to make any and every surface on a gadget touch-sensitive.

Multitouch capacitive displays might be the new hotness now, but a Paris-based start-up believes that it has the next big thing on its hands: a technology which makes any part of a device touch sensitive.

As reported over on I4U yesterday, Sensitive Object has announced the Anywhere MultiTouch – a clever sound-based touch interface. Using a technology the company calls ReverSys – on which it holds a patent – and a couple of piezoelectric sensors, the Anywhere MultiTouch system is able to pick up vibrations from your fingertip travelling through the device and figure out exactly where on the device you're touching.

The technology promises full compatibility with the latest buzzwords – including multitouch support, palm rejection, and handwriting recognition along with support for Windows 7 – and the company claims the system can be used on materials including glass, aluminium, and plastic. Impressively, the Anywhere MultiTouch allows for the entire surface of a device to be rendered touch sensitive – not just the screen – with the company offering the example of a “game application running on a mobile phone [using] both the top, bottom, or rear of the handset of touch sensitive parts.

The company's chief technical officer, Bruno Thuillier, hopes that the Anywhere MultiTouch will see use in “mobile phones, netbooks, laptops, PCs, portable games terminals, and many other [devices].

Although full pricing information is only available upon request from interested OEMs, Sensitive Object claims that the technology will be made available for “a very competitive price.

Can you see the possibilities for a hand-held device where the entire surface is touch sensitive, or does moving the control away from the screen – or a specific touchpad area which maps to the screen – introduce more problems than opportunities? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

11 Comments

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Bauul 29th April 2009, 14:07 Quote
If the whole device is touch sensetive, how do you hold it?
Arkanrais 29th April 2009, 14:31 Quote
I'd love a 7" touchscreen brick for doing some digital painting while away from my desktop. maybe something with photoshop and corel painter support as main functions with an OS built around that sort of thing.
I loved the DS app colors!, but with a max size of 512×384px, it was a little small for my tastes (and lacked an undo button which was a real killer) ( I did this on my DS as a little experiment with it)

Something like this multitouch panel stuff would be perfect for a low cost digital art pad.
tank_rider 29th April 2009, 14:33 Quote
i can see this replacing physical buttons, so only certain regions actually trigger any behavior, think iPhone, but without any of the physical buttons, you just touch a marked patch on the case.

Combine this with induction charging and you can have a truly waterproof device with no casing breaches or rubber covered buttons that wear out with use.
Jamie 29th April 2009, 15:04 Quote
This is rubbish, it'll never work.
perplekks45 29th April 2009, 15:32 Quote
Why not, Jamie?

After I saw the 19" touchscreen here on the forum I really want one and this technology is another step in the right direction, I think.
Star*Dagger 29th April 2009, 16:03 Quote
Anything is possible and this is one of those things.

I would like to see some R&D go into user interfaces that are more human-centric, getting away from the 2d paradigm, this is a step in that direction.

I approve.

S*D
wuyanxu 29th April 2009, 16:30 Quote
touch can never replace buttons. i say this from experience:
-my iPhone capacitive touch is good, but you have to constantly LOOK at it to use it.
-my Samsung T240 has capacitive touch ON/Off button, it sucks big time, finger prints all over it, when i try to rich over from bed at night, can never get the right place.
-my friend's Mighty Mouse where left/right identification is done by which finger is touching which part of mouse. it simply not work during gaming.

on small netbooks such as that tiny Sony one, it makes sense. but for desktop PC's, clicky mouse and real buttons are still the best solution. (especially for on/off buttons)

edit: sorry, mighty mouse don't work was what i was saying. forgot the not
fodder 29th April 2009, 17:54 Quote
Mostly agree there. I do think it is the way for mobile devices though and would make them much more robust physically.

Disagree on the apple mighty mouse. Purely because apple have never ever made a good light based (IR/Laser etc) sensor mouse. They jump all over the place, the side buttons on the mighty mouse are designed to frustrate and by default the 'right click' is turned off. The amount of apple users I have had to explain how they have had a two button mouse for a while is astonishing, probalby over 80%. Mind you, they have normally replaced it with a logitech or MS one by then.
woodshop 30th April 2009, 04:30 Quote
stroke it
ParaHelix.org 30th April 2009, 17:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
If the whole device is touch sensetive, how do you hold it?

LOL, that was an amazing comment.
Thacrudd 1st May 2009, 18:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
If the whole device is touch sensetive, how do you hold it?

Just what I was thinking lol. The only thing I could think of this being used effectively on would be if you had a small device, anything from a digital TV remote to an Ipod or phone, when you picked it up it turned on and/or comes out of sleep/lock mode. Somebody will think of a neat way to use this tech.
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