March 7, 2008 Touch is a compelling input modality for interactive devices, but fingers get in the way on the small screen of a mobile device. Microsoft held its annual Techfest earlier this week, showing a range of new technologies certain to play a role in the future of mankind. One that jumped out at us was the LucidTouch, a mobile device that addresses this limitation by allowing the user to control the application by touching the back of the see-through device.

The key to making the LucidTouch usable is pseudo-transparency: by overlaying an image of the user’s hands onto the screen, Microsoft has created the illusion of the mobile device itself being semitransparent. This pseudo-transparency allows users to accurately acquire targets while not occluding the screen with their fingers and hand.

LucidTouch also supports multi-touch input, allowing users to operate the device simultaneously with all 10 fingers.