You know you have some interesting technology on your hands (well, fingers) when you manage to make Minority Report look outdated. Engineers at Autodesk Research are showing off a proof-of-concept Magic Finger, which is a tiny device that turns virtually any surface into a touch pad. The Finger uses a micro camera and an optical flow sensor to detect motion and identify surfaces. As small as your finger tip, the device attaches with a thin strip of Velcro. You can swipe, pinch, and tap any surface just as you would a laptop touch pad or a tablet’s screen.
The Magic Finger is useful for situations in which a normal touchpad isn’t easy to reach, but it also has some other interesting uses that go beyond an ordinary touch pad. Autodesk researchers point to the Magic finger as a way to share data with other users (by touching fingertips).
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