As touch screens shrink, one of the biggest problems users face is that their fingers cover up what they’re trying to look at. An experimental setup from researchers at Microsoft and Mitsubishi lets people essentially touch their screens from the back. A semitransparent image of their fingers is superimposed on the front of the display.
To build their prototype, the researchers glued a touch pad to the back of a conventional touch-screen device; then they added a Web camera that captures an image of the user’s hand. Software creates the semitransparent representation of the hand, correlating its position with that of the real hand. Having built an experimental but admittedly impractical version of the device, the researchers are now exploring versions that could be commercially viable. One approach involves a touch pad with an array of capacitors whose electrical charge is altered by the proximity of the user’s fingers. In another, arrays of single-pixel light sensors would map the fingers’ location.
The big new idea for making self-driving cars that can go anywhere
The mainstream approach to driverless cars is slow and difficult. These startups think going all-in on AI will get there faster.
Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal
The startup used plant matter and bio-oil to sequester thousands of tons of carbon. The question now is how reliable, scalable, and economical this approach will prove.
The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images
Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.
The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it
Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.