Microsoft Acquires Perceptive Pixel Inc.; Demos Windows 8 on an 82″ Multi-touch Display

Today, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Perspective Pixel, a leader in research, development and production of large-scale, multi-touch display solutions. The announcement came at the end of the Vision Keynote at the 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Network Conference.

At the keynote, Steve Ballmer introduced Jeff Han, a multi-touch researcher and co-founder of Perspective Pixel Inc., who demonstrated Windows 8 running on an incredible 82” touch screen. The awe-inspiring demo also featured the note-taking app, OneNote, and an ad-hoc collaboration called Storyboard. While the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Perceptive Pixel’s large-scale, multi-touch hardware and software technology will help Microsoft to enable and showcase interesting collaboration and productivity scenarios with Windows and Office.

The display unit during the demo is world’s largest projected capacitive, optically bonded multi-touch display and supports both touch and pen based input. Microsoft has also been working on table-sized multitouch tables, formerly called Surface, but now known as PixelSense.

Perspective Pixel was founded in 2006, and its technology gained widespread recognition in 2008 as CNN and other broadcasters covered the U.S. Presedential elections aided by large displays in their studios. The company also won the National Design Award in the inaugural category of Interaction Design at the Smithsonian awards in 2009. Perceptive Pixel’s patented technology is used in broadcast, government, defense, energy, higher education, engineering, and product design.


Wacom Launches New Range of Multi-touch and Pen Table

Wacom India yesterday announced their all new line-up of Bamboo tablets at a press event in New Delhi. The new Bamboo tablets make it easier to create, edit, and share images and documents for creative professionals and digital enthusiasts. The new range of tablets announced include: Bamboo Fun, Bamboo Pen & Touch, and Bamboo Pen.


All Bamboo tablets combine the pressure-sensitive, battery-free and cordless pen experience with multi-touch functionality for fast, easy navigation of PCs or Macs. The improved pen offers a more aesthetic shape, improved pen buttons, and new eraser shape. The multi-touch experience is enhanced and more intuitive. So sweeping with fingers over the tablet to scroll through documents, surf the web, or browse through images is quick and easy. Both Bamboo Fun and Bamboo Pen & Touch tablets can now be used with the available Bamboo wireless accessory kit. It allows you to connect the tablet wirelessly to PCs and Macs.

Consumers are becoming significantly more expressive and creative in their everyday digital life. With the new Bamboo generation, we offer the perfect tool to personalise content and to navigate, write, draw, paint and sketch in an enjoyable way.

– John de Olde, Asia Pacific Marketing Manager, Wacom Co., Ltd..

Darren Higgins specializes in portraiture and commercial product photography.

Bamboo Pen

The Bamboo Pen is the starting model of the new range and is available for INR 5500. With compact design, Bamboo Pen allows for easy and intuitive use.

Bamboo Pen & Touch

Bamboo Pen & Touch should make for a stylish accessory on your desk. The stunning black tablet is priced at INR 7500 and allows for a smooth drawing, annotating, scribbling, painting, and navigating experience.

Bamboo Fun

Bamboo Fun, although a little steep in price at INR 13,500, is stylish and comes with a loaded software bundled: Adobe ® Photoshop ® Elements 9 and Bamboo Scribe 3.0. The medium-sized tablet also comes with Corel Painter Essentials 4, which turns any computer into a digital canvas and the Bamboo pen into a multi-purpose paintbrush. Bamboo Fun is essentially Bamboo Pen & Touch with the software bundle.


Bamboo interactive pen tablets deliver a great experience of working with a PC or Mac. Combining the best aspects of user experience, the pen tablets allow for better interaction with computers.

Microsoft Touch Mouse: How Microsoft Took a Concept from Research to Product

It is fascinating to learn that it took a collection of prototypes, collaboration between transatlantic teams, and a lot of user testing to bring Microsoft Touch Mouse to market. The Microsoft Touch Mouse project was unusual compared with other hardware-development projects, because it combined multiple disciplines in a tightly integrated way.

Microsoft Touch Mouse

The joint research effort between Microsoft Research Redmond, Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group introduced five different multi-touch mice prototypes. The research paper, titled Mouse 2.0: Multi-touch Meets the Mouse, presents novel input devices that combine the standard capabilities of a computer mouse with multi-touch sensing. Each prototype explored a different touch-sensing strategy that influenced the design of different mouse form factors and their interaction possibilities.

Humans are naturally dexterous and use their fingers and thumbs to perform a variety of complex interactions to a high precision. The traditional computer mouse design, however, makes little use of this dexterity, reducing our hands to a single cursor on the screen. Our fingers are often relegated to performing relatively simple actions such as clicking the mouse buttons or rolling the mouse wheel. With the emergence of multi-touch, we now have the opportunity to manipulate digital content with increased dexterity.


FTIR Mouse applies the principle of frustrated total internal reflection to illuminate a user’s fingers, and uses a camera to track multiple points of touch on its curved translucent surface


Orb Mouse is equipped with an internal camera and a source of diffuse IR illumination, allowing it to track the user’s hand on its hemispherical surface.


Cap Mouse (short for capacitive mouse) employs a matrix of capacitive touch-sensing electrodes to track the position of the user’s fingertips over its surface.


Side Mouse rests under the palm of hand, allowing fingers to touch the table surface directly in front of the device. These are sensed using an internal camera and IR laser.


Arty Mouse is equipped with three high-resolution optical mouse sensors: one in the base, which rests under the user’s palm, and two under the articulated extensions that follow the movements of the index finger and thumb.


The research team intended to refine their prototypes, both ergonomically and in terms of their sensing capabilities. Therefore, Microsoft Hardware decided to get behind the research, and a team was formed to bring a multi-touch mouse to market. The close collaboration between the hardware team and Microsoft Research in both Cambridge and Redmond went beyond just technology transfer.

The design of the final form factor required sculpting and testing of hundreds of models. The team also examined user interactions and evaluated the kinds of gestures that made sense. The multi-touch gestures are designed to amplify your experience with Windows 7, and are optimized for window management. The design also involved a challenge requiring that users should be able to operate the device using classic point-and-click interactions as well as the newly developed set of multi-touch gestures.

The delightful, fluid desktop experience of Microsoft Touch Mouse is a testimony to the value of the value of quality research to explore new possibilities.

Sony Ericsson X10 Not Getting DLNA Feature!

Last year, Sony Ericsson confirmed that even though the current line-up of Android based Xperia smartphones will not get the Android 2.2 update. However, the company did state that they will release several updates which will improve the functionality and the overall user experience of the phone.

These several updates’ brought many new features to the biggest member of the Xperia family the X10 including partial multi-touch support, improved performance and updated version of TimeScape and Mediascape. However, Sony Ericsson had also promised that the X10 will get D-LNA support with one of these updates.


Sadly, Sony Ericsson has confirmed on their Product Blog that the X10 won’t be getting DLNA feature, officially at least. The reason behind the DLNA feature not making it to the handset is as follows :

Q: Wasn’t DLNA supposed to be in the latest update for Xperia X10?

A: That was our plan, as stated here back in May last year. However lots of things has changed since then like splitting the update into two parts, changes to timing, adding Pinch Zoom touch etc. One of the consequences of all those changes was unfortunately that DLNA had to be de-scoped. I know that there are 3rd party apps available that enables DLNA though so hopefully you can enjoy one of those.

The blog post also contains some useful information about the upcoming XPERIA handsets from Sony Ericsson. Readers can read the whole blog post here.

Sony Ericsson X10 ‘Multi-Touch’ Update To Roll Out This Week In Japan

A couple of months ago, we had reported that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will get partial’ multi-touch support via a software update from Sony Ericsson. The company had promised to release the software update by Q1 of 2011.

Now, it looks like Sony Ericsson is going to roll out the update slowly and steadily. Starting this week, the company is going to release the multi-touch’ software update in Japan for the NTT DoCoMo branded X10’s.


The software update will only bring partial’ multi-touch to the X10. It will only allow users to take advantage of the pinch-to-zoom gesture. All the in-built applications on the phone like the Browser and the Maps will be updated to support this new multi-touch gesture as well. However, users won’t be able to enjoy the new multi-touch gestures offered by the new Google Maps 5.

Third party applications can also make use of this limited’ multi-touch support on the X10. But, users should expect this multi-touch gesture implementation to be erratic at best since it’s more of a hack. The X10 digitizer does not support true’ multi-touch and Sony Ericsson has got this partial’ multi-touch working by some clever driver coding.

Nevertheless, something is better than nothing and this software update will hopefully please all the X10 owners out there.

Microsoft Introduces Multi Touch Mouse At CES 2011


While Steve Ballmer talked abut everything that was expected, Microsoft Hardware has released a new multi touch mouse called the Microsoft Touch Mouse.

The Touch mouse is not the Arc Touch but a buttonless gesture based mouse that Arc Touch should’ve been. The Touch Mouse comes with Windows 7 integration, here’s a demo:

As of now the mouse supports upto three fingers gestures. The features as shown are:

  • One Finger scroll
  • Two Fingers window management
  • Three Fingers desktop navigation

Priced at $80 and to be available in May 2011, the mouse can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Install Android 2.3 Gingerbread Keyboard On Any Android Device

Last week, Google introduced the latest version of Android Gingerbread. The new updated version of Android brings with it many changes including a new spiced up UI and a new multi-touch keyboard. The new keyboard not only looks sexy but is a pretty good improvement over the older default Android keyboard.

Now, the awesome modding community of Android has already ripped apart the keyboard from the Android 2.3 Gingerbread SDK.


To get the new Android 2.3 keyboard on your device, users can simply install this (Alt. link) APK file on their Android handset. However, users must make sure that their handset is running on Android 2.2 (Froyo). If for some reason, the APK refuses to install on your phone then users can flash this (Alt. link) file on their phone using CWM (ClockWorkMod) Recovery.

For people, who don’t know what CWM is, I would recommend them to simply try and install the APK file on their handset. The keyboard works perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy S running a custom ROM based on Android 2.2.1. However, the only thing which does not work is the Vibrate On Keypress’ option.

Nevertheless, I will recommend all Android owners to give this new Android 2.3 keyboard a shot.

Source: XDA (Sadly, I lost the link to the thread so if anyone manages to find it, please do link me to it.)

Swype Beta to be available for download

According to latest news, the wildly successfull and popular Swype software will be made available for download in its beta version in a few hours. Swype is a Ttouchscreen mobile application that allows text entry faster than any other method.

Untill now Swype was not available freely and only came pre-installed with few mobile devices. After the first release, the application had become highly popular and they had released a beta for a timed period last year. Within a few hours this is set to change as a beta version of the Android application will be available for download at the Swype website.

This application has totally revolutionised typing methods in mobile touchscreen devices. Recently a Swype user Franklin Page set a Guiness Book World record for fastest text entry on a mobile touchscreen device with a time of 35.54 seconds. The text was The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human,.

Source : TechCrunch

Soon be available for download here : Swype

RIM Unveils The Blackberry 6 OS

RIM just announced the Blackberry 6 OS at the ongoing WES 2010. The new Blackberry 6 OS features multi touch support, a new HTML 5 compatible web-kit based web browser, a brand new UI and a cover flow like music player.

RIM did not mention anything about the new features of the upcoming OS, but some information did leak out. The new OS will feature a brand new homescreen, along with smooth transitions and new pop-up menus. The Messaging and the Gallery application of the phone have also been revamped. It is also said that the web browser will support multiple tabs. The phone supports pinch zooming as well. The new OS is also more touch optimized.

The company also released a demo video of the new OS at their official youtube channel.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Supports Multitouch?


It seems like the mystery behind the multitouch support on Xperia X10 will never end. It was confirmed by the marketing manager of Xperia X10 that multitouch will not be supported on X10 but a “inside man” of says that Android 2.1 with multitouch is coming for X10 by September.

The point is whether this person knows more than the Sony Ericsson officials? It was said in few blogs that the marketing manager of X10 didn’t had any idea about the hardware of the phone ( All due respect to him, Mr. Sumit Malhotra). If we believe in this fact, then again, why didn’t Sony Ericsson corrected the statement made by the marketing manager? The statement made by him has definitely affected the sales of X10.

Well, we can just hope along with all X10 users that this turns out to be true.