Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Small mobile devices can serve as own computer mice with optical sensing method

Date:
April 27, 2010
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
The same inexpensive, but high-quality optical sensors employed in the common computer mouse can enable small mobile phones and digital music players to be used as their own pointing and gestural input devices, say researchers.

Researchers have developed new input method, called Minput, that responds to up-down, and side-to-side motions, like a computer mouse, but also to twisting and flicking motions.
Credit: Image courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University

The same inexpensive, but high-quality optical sensors employed in the common computer mouse can enable small mobile phones and digital music players to be used as their own pointing and gestural input devices, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII).

By installing a pair of optical sensors on the back of a mobile phone or mp3 player, the researchers found that the entire device could have many of the same benefits as that of a computer mouse when the device was placed against a surface, a piece of clothing or the palm of a hand. This new input method, called Minput, responds to up-down, and side-to-side motions, like a computer mouse, but also to twisting and flicking motions.

"Minput turns out to be a fairly intuitive way to navigate through menus or photo galleries on a device's display without fumbling with tiny buttons or obscuring a small touchscreen with your fingers," said Chris Harrison, a third-year Ph.D. student who developed the method with his faculty adviser, HCII Professor Scott Hudson. "Because we use a pair of sensors, it can respond to a wide range of gestural commands, much like an iPhone or other multi-touch device."

Twisting a Minput-equipped device -- a gesture that proved particularly popular with beta testers -- might allow a user to zoom in or out of a photo or document, while flicking the device against a surface enables the user, for instance, to switch between photos or between photo galleries. But Minput also permits high-precision positioning -- such as selecting a sentence of text from a paragraph -- that would be difficult to perform on a small touchscreen or with other types of gestural input, where the size of the finger might occupy a majority of the screen.

Harrison presented a paper on Minput earlier this month at CHI 2010, the Association for Computing Machinery's annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Atlanta. A video demonstrating the possibilities of Minput can be at www.chrisharrison.net/projects/minput/.

Minput didn't require developing any new sensor technology, Harrison said. "The hard part was done for us; optical sensors are already fantastically well-engineered. And at about a dollar apiece, they wouldn't add much to the cost of a mobile phone or music player," he noted. "We just use these sensors in a new and clever way." For their prototype, Harrison and Hudson mounted two optical sensors on the back of a wristwatch-size television with a 1.5-inch-diagonal display. Computer processing is performed off-board by a laptop computer. But Harrison said the Minput sensors and processors could be readily miniaturized to fit inside small mobile devices.

The work was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Small mobile devices can serve as own computer mice with optical sensing method." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426105649.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2010, April 27). Small mobile devices can serve as own computer mice with optical sensing method. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426105649.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Small mobile devices can serve as own computer mice with optical sensing method." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426105649.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins