Death of the computer mouse? Device could be replaced with a smart THIMBLE

(By Victoria Woollaston)

By combining data from all of the sensors, the 3DTouch can more accurately determine the location on the screen, and the researchers claim it can be used to move a 3D object with a positioning error of only about 1 mm.

The computer mouse has had a good run.

But almost 70 years since the design was first patented, it is now under threat from a smart ‘thimble’. 

The wearable 3D Touch device is fitted with an accelerometer and gyroscope, and lets people control an onscreen mouse using just a wave of their finger.

The intelligent gadget was created by Anh Nguyen and Amy Banic from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. 

It uses a 3D accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope to orientate where the mouse should be.

The device also uses optical flow sensors to track movement against a 2D surface.

A button between the forefinger and thumb is used in place of the left-click button on a standard mouse.

The device also uses optical flow sensors to track movement against a 2D surface (pictured). All of this location data is streamed to a laptop and is used to move the cursor, it can also be used with touchscreen-style gestures such as double tap and long press

The device also uses optical flow sensors to track movement against a 2D surface (pictured). All of this location data is streamed to a laptop and is used to move the cursor, it can also be used with touchscreen-style gestures such as double tap and long press

All of this location data is streamed to a laptop and is used to move the cursor, it can also be used with touchscreen-style gestures such as double tap and long press.

By combining data from all of the sensors, the 3DTouch can more accurately determine the location on the screen, and the researchers claim it can be used to move a 3D object with a positioning error of only about 1 mm.

And having more than one 3DTouch on different fingers allows for multi-touch gestures.

By combining data from all of the sensors, the 3DTouch can accurately determine the location on the screen, and the researchers claim it can be used to move objects with a positioning error of only 1mm. A button between the forefinger and thumb (pictured) is used in place of the left-click button on a standard mouse

By combining data from all of the sensors, the 3DTouch can accurately determine the location on the screen, and the researchers claim it can be used to move objects with a positioning error of only 1mm. A button between the forefinger and thumb (pictured) is used in place of the left-click button on a standard mouse.
The original mouse prototype was patented in 1947. It is now widely used with PCs and Macs (pictured)

The original mouse prototype was patented in 1947. It is now widely used with PCs and Macs (pictured)

Currently, the device is wired to an Arduino controller that records the sensor data, and this is then streamed to a laptop. 

The researchers are working on developing the technology so it can be used wirelessly.

‘3DTouch enables users to user their fingers or thumb as a 3D input device with the capability of performing 3D selection translation, and rotation,’ explained the researchers. 

‘It is designed to fill the missing gap of a 3D input device that is self-contained, mobile, and universally working across various 3D platforms.

‘This presents a low-cost solution to designing and implementing such a device.

Modular solutions like 3DTouch opens up a whole new design space for interaction techniques to further develop on.

‘With 3DTouch, we attempted to bring 3D interaction and applications a step closer to users in everyday life.’

(Source: DailyMail)

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