Touch – the new frontier for television?

Thinking idly about interfaces, the overflow of unused and uncared for buttons on remote controls, and the limitations of the mouse for people with arthritis.

Interactive television has dropped off the radar a little in terms of industry buzz, perhaps something like this could function both as an interface for negotiating channels, adjusting settings and engaging with enhanced content. The on-screen visual and sonic information would be enhanced by haptic cues… what would the ABC watermark ‘feel’ like?

From Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University:

Computer Users Get Sense of Touch

Computers —long used as tools to design and manipulate 3-D objects — may soon provide people with a way to sense the texture of those objects or feel how they fit together. Carnegie Mellon’s Ralph Hollis, a research professor in the university’s Robotics Institute, developed a haptic — or “touch-based” — interface to give users a highly realistic
experience. Unlike most other haptic interfaces that rely on motors and mechanical linkages to provide some sense of touch or force feedback, Hollis’ device uses magnetic levitation and a single moving part. Users can perceive textures, feel hard contacts and notice even slight changes in position, while using an interface that responds rapidly to movements.

Could perhaps be combined with something like BumpTop, a playful virtual desktop interface which was demonstrated at TED2007 by Anand Agarawala

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