The Amazing Invisible Mouse
MIT students have created what is likely to be a device that can take the market by storm. The Invisible Mouse uses a combination of infrared camera and infrared laser in order to read hand gestures in order to control a computer. You basically put your hand on the table with the IR devices pointing at it, move your hand like you would move a mouse and it controls your cursor exactly how a normal mouse would. Although the technology is still in its infancy and it does require extra hardware that manufacturers are not including with their computers – It has the potential to eradicate the need for an extra peripheral.
Although I have only seen it work on a laptop, it would be better suited to a desktop computer which is anchored to a desk. Because people have a tendency to use their laptop on their lap, finding a surface on which to place your hand may seem cumbersome. It also may be expensive for companies to insert the laser on both sides of the computer instead of just one (to cater for left and right handed users). So in that regard, the touch pad might be a better idea to keep built into the mouse. A good idea for desktop computers would be to build the laser and camera into the monitor. Many people have a tendency to put their towers on the floor.
Although the technology is relatively new; it is impressive nonetheless. It has applications far beyond that of controlling a cursor on screen. It could also have various military and gaming applications. It would also be good to help artificial intelligence in the field of robotics and software design. Although infrared technology has been around for some time, it is interesting to see people use it for new things.