Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

TapSense: Touchscreen technology distinguishes taps by parts of finger

Date:
October 21, 2011
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Smartphone and tablet computer owners have become adept at using finger taps, flicks and drags to control their touchscreens. But researchers have found that this interaction can be enhanced by taking greater advantage of the finger's anatomy and dexterity. By attaching a microphone to a touchscreen, the scientists have shown they can tell the difference between the tap of a fingertip, the pad of the finger, a fingernail and a knuckle. This technology, called TapSense, enables richer touchscreen interactions.

Smartphone and tablet computer owners have become adept at using finger taps, flicks and drags to control their touchscreens. But Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found that this interaction can be enhanced by taking greater advantage of the finger's anatomy and dexterity.

Related Articles


By attaching a microphone to a touchscreen, the CMU scientists showed they can tell the difference between the tap of a fingertip, the pad of the finger, a fingernail and a knuckle. This technology, called TapSense, enables richer touchscreen interactions. While typing on a virtual keyboard, for instance, users might capitalize letters simply by tapping with a fingernail instead of a finger tip, or might switch to numerals by using the pad of a finger, rather toggling to a different set of keys.

Another possible use would be a painting app that uses a variety of tapping modes and finger motions to control a pallet of colors, or switch between drawing and erasing without having to press buttons.

"TapSense basically doubles the input bandwidth for a touchscreen," said Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII). "This is particularly important for smaller touchscreens, where screen real estate is limited. If we can remove mode buttons from the screen, we can make room for more content or can make the remaining buttons larger."

TapSense was developed by Harrison, fellow Ph.D. student Julia Schwarz, and Scott Hudson, a professor in the HCII. Harrison discussed the technology on Oct. 19 at the Association for Computing Machinery's Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in Santa Barbara, Calif.

A video demonstrating the technology's capabilities and possible applications can be viewed at: http://chrisharrison.net/index.php/Research/TapSense.

"TapSense can tell the difference between different parts of the finger by classifying the sounds they make when they strike the touchscreen," Schwarz said. An inexpensive microphone could be readily attached to a touchscreen for this purpose. The microphones already in devices for phone conversations would not work well for the application, however, because they are designed to capture voices, not the sort of noise that TapSense needs to operate.

The technology also can use sound to discriminate between passive tools (i.e., no batteries) made from such materials as wood, acrylic and polystyrene foam. This would enable people using styluses made from different materials to collaboratively sketch or take notes on the same surface, with each person's contributions appearing in a different color or otherwise noted.

The researchers found that their proof-of-concept system was able to distinguish between the four types of finger inputs with 95 percent accuracy, and could distinguish between a pen and a finger with 99 percent accuracy.


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. "TapSense: Touchscreen technology distinguishes taps by parts of finger." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024844.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2011, October 21). TapSense: Touchscreen technology distinguishes taps by parts of finger. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024844.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "TapSense: Touchscreen technology distinguishes taps by parts of finger." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024844.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Newsy (Dec. 22, 2014) Bitcoin's stock has tumbled significantly this year, but more companies now accept it, leading supporters and critics alike to weigh in on its future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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