Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Phone It In

Public touch-screen displays such as airport check-in kiosks aren’t known for having versatile interfaces; they usually lack keyboards or pointing devices, limiting users to a few navigational buttons. But new software from High Energy Magic of Cambridge, England, turns a camera phone with a Bluetooth wireless connection into a portable mouse and keyboard that can take full command of public displays, doing away with the old touch screen. Working with Intel’s Cambridge research lab, High Energy Magic has developed a set of circular symbols, similar in concept to bar codes, that can be displayed by public terminals. Camera phones loaded with the company’s software can translate the symbols into data. Once a phone locks onto one of the symbols, it uses the Bluetooth short-range wireless protocol to send information about its size, position, and orientation to the computer running the display. The phone can then act as a mouse, manipulating on-screen controls such as scroll bars. The company plans to license the technology to businesses, such as travel agencies, that operate public kiosks.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to All Access Digital.
  • All Access Digital {! insider.prices.digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The digital magazine, plus unlimited site access, our online archive, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    Digital magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.