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Interface

The Mitsubishi EMIRAI concept automotive interface

Sneak peeks at future technology often come with a curious mixture of excitement (it's new!) and frustration (you have to wait ten years) and so it is with Mitsubishi's innovative EMIRAI automotive interface concept. While the system steers clear of the hands-free personal transportation envisioned in futuristic films such as Minority Report, it does explore interacting with your ride in some very compelling ways. From the looks of it, getting around by car will be a lot more interesting in a decade or so ... to say the least.  Read More

The maXStylus active stylus works with Android 4.0 and Windows 8, offering a 1mm stylus ti...

While modern smartphones can be operated by touch only, styluses certainly have not disappeared. An accurate stylus is actually a must when high precision is required. California-based company Atmel has unveiled a new addition to its touch interface solutions in the form of the maXStylus active stylus for Android 4.0 and Windows 8. It features a 1mm stylus tip, and simultaneous finger and stylus operation.  Read More

TapSense is an experimental touchscreen system, that is able to tell the difference betwee...

Small touchscreen devices such smartphones certainly have their attractions, but they also have one drawback – there isn’t much room on their little screens for touch-sensitive features. This means that users will sometimes instead have to go into sub-menus, or make do with jabbing their fingers at tiny controls. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, however, are working on an alternative. Their prototype TapSense system can differentiate between screen taps from different parts of the finger, and will perform different tasks accordingly.  Read More

The Soundplane Model A computer music controller has a touch-sensitive walnut playing surf...

Even though touch-sensitive digital music interfaces like Roger Linn's LinnStrument offer users access to whole new worlds of sonic expression, there's still something very appealing about the feel of real wood beneath the fingers. The Soundplane Model A throws cold plastic playing surfaces out the window and presents players with 150 walnut keys incorporating patent-pending continuous capacitive sensing technology, for a computer music controller with the feel of an acoustic instrument.  Read More

The Audio d-touch system allows users to create music by moving physical blocks

While more and more music is being created on computers with a QWERTY keyboard, researchers at the University of Southhampton are looking to bring the tangible interface one gets from actually playing an instrument to creating music on a computer. The Audio d-touch system uses a computer, a standard webcam, a printed sheet of paper and physical blocks that are moved around to determine how the computer samples and reproduces sound.  Read More

Alesis has released what is described as the missing link between the iPad, its associated...

I have to admit to feeling a flutter of excitement when Digitech announced its programmable iPad pedalboard. Now it's the turn of vocalists, musicians of all kinds, producers and writers to access the wealth of digital music apps available for the iPad with the release of the iO Dock, from professional audio and studio equipment manufacturer Alesis.  Read More

A new computer system has been designed to make managing the traffic on aircraft carrier f...

If you think working as an air traffic controller at an airport sounds stressful, imagine doing the same kind of work in the close confines of an aircraft carrier. Up to 60 aircraft can be continually taking off and landing, on a 4.5-acre (1.82-hectare) strip of deck that’s also occupied by numerous people and vehicles. For decades, a deck handling system that consists of plane-shaped cut-outs and color-coded thumbtacks has been used, but it’s only as reliable as the people placing those objects. An associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics from MIT has now devised a computer system, Deck operations Course of Action Planner (DCAP), that she believes could make things safer and more efficient.  Read More

The AcousticLink guitar interface for acoustic players

For a good while now, electric guitar and bass players have been able to interface their instruments with computers and mobile devices thanks to solutions like the JAM from Apogee and the iRig from IK Multimedia. Now, acoustic players are to get their chance to join the digital party with the launch of the AcousicLink solution from Alesis.  Read More

The IK iRig MIDI and Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer - separated at birth?

The iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are now established favorites for the mobile muso with new synths and sequencers seemingly coming out every week. Until iOS 4 however there was no standardized method for getting MIDI control signals in and out of the units for interfacing with ‘proper’ equipment. Some enterprising developers created methods using the Apple Camera Kit USB connector whilst Line 6 created its own proprietary method and the MIDI Mobilizer dongle to go with it. In the iOS 4 software release Apple ported the CoreMIDI programming interface framework from MacOS and developers finally had a standard method with which they were familiar. Though iOS4 was released a year ago, compatible MIDI interfaces are now only beginning to get to market.  Read More

Illustration from IBM's patent application for a morphing touchscreen keyboard

While most people prefer using physical keyboards and only tolerate virtual keyboards on their mobile devices for the sake of portability, onscreen keyboards do potentially offer a flexibility that can’t be matched by physical keyboards. It’s this flexibility that IBM is looking to take advantage of with the company recently filing a U.S. patent application for a morphing touchscreen keyboard interface that would automatically resize, reshape and reposition keys based on a user’s typing style.  Read More

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