Everything a Touch Screen

I try to make sure that my posts about technology have some sensible bearing on law in one way or another. But occasionally I come across a development that strikes me as worth sharing whether or not I can see anything peculiarly legal about it, and Touché is one such.

Disney Research (who knew the Mouse did science?) has developed Touché, a technique for converting pretty much any surface into a “touch screen” that is able to control a computer — and not merely a binary “finger / no finger” system, but one able to recognize hands, elbows, four fingers, etc. as different stimuli. An article in The Week will tell you all about it, and the video on Gizmodo will demonstrate it.

As you’ll see, your desktop, doorknobs — even your own body — can become sites for controlling devices, whether computers per se or chips that accomplish tasks other than browsing or office work. If these report are solid and the technology scales (and survives any patent wars), it could take us much further down the road that Steve Jobs started us on, the road on which the mouse goes the way of the fountain pen and control is gestural.

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