Even though the humble mouse has managed to hold on to it’s place in the world of computing, one company is set on exterminating it with a device that can turn any surface into a 3-D multi-touch one.
Ractiv is the company who think they’ve got what it takes, and their device is called Haptix.
There have been earlier attempts such as Leap Motion, but following its release in July, the reviews seemed to follow a similar trend. It’s a lot of work for developers to integrate into their apps, and equally demanding for users to control – you have to outstretch, and hover your arms above the keyboard.
The hardware consists of two CMOS image sensors – just like a webcam – providing 3-D sensing that can capture the position of the user’s hands in 640×360 resolution, allowing for tactile feedback.
Software is where the device really shines though – based on how the eyes see, it’s capable of working all lighting conditions. Intuitive motions allow you to zoom, swipe, and scroll – deactivating when you type to avoid any unintentional actions.
The physical toll of motion gesture technology is a stumbling block for gesture-controlled devices, and being able to keep your hands on the keyboard gives Haptix a distinctive advantage.
Apart from being intuitive the multi-touch device is affordable, costing just $70, which makes it an attractive proposition compared with similar devices such as Ubi Interactive, which costs upwards of $370.
While the company won’t be able to wipe out mice straight away, they have high hopes for the device after it’s undergone further development. Issues that still need to be addressed are things like making the device wireless, and adapting it for Android and OSX.