Mobile Touch at Microsoft Research October 31, 2006Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, mobile, physical interaction design.
Last week I had the chance to listen to Patrick Baudisch from Microsoft Research. At the Technical University in Berlin he gave a talk on “making sense on small screens” (slides). Within his talk he introduced his “summary thumbnail”, something like semantic zooming: Patrick developed an algorithm, which would scale down web-sites to the size of the screen on mobile phones, still keeping the most important fragments of the text readable.
Patrick also talked about SOAP, a – as he said – very personal research project. He developed a “a mouse-like pointing device that works in mid-air”. His project is based on the observation that – when buying a mouse – we actually only purchase half of a pointing device: the other half is the surface, which is needed to operate a mouse.
SOAP is basically the technology of a wireless infrared mouse put into a sock: the user can move this sock or skin over the internal technology containing object, which has the shape of a soap. In the discussion afterwards somebody said that it reminded of playing with a foreskin. An interesting, but true statement.