How Does the Microsoft PocketTouch Technology Work?


Have you ever had the moment when you don’t know if you want to pull out your phone in a meeting to silence it or answer a text message while on a date? Are there times when you need to use your phone, but you’re just in the wrong place and time to take it out? Worry no more though because Microsoft has a solution for that.

Microsoft researchers Scott Saponas, Chris Harrison and Hrvoje Benko are developing a technology called the PocketTouch, where it can read gesture interactions and is sensitive to recognize commands even if the gadget is behind a fabric or bag. This new device will consist of a customized and multitouch capacitive sensor that is hooked behind the smartphone. The company is developing the technology so it can work with a wide variety of fabrics found in today’s clothing and accessories. In this way, people can silence their phone, surf the net or answer a text message without even looking or taking out the phone.

But there are still glitches, such as: how will the technology be able to determine the gadget when it can be placed in different angles?

Well, the researchers have also developed what they call the “orientation-defining unlock gesture” that will basically help the device know where the gadget is. Aside from testing it with different types of fabrics, this feature will also be tested to make sure it picks up the gadget no matter the angle it is placed.

So far, according to Microsoft, it has “exceeded expectations” though there is still no definite date on when it will be released to the public. They will, however, present the project this week at the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in California.

You can check out a demo of the Microsoft PocketTouch below.


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