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Interface

British pro-audio manufacturer Focusrite has announced U.S. availability of its iTrack Solo audio recording interface for the iPad. Featuring studio-quality guitar and microphone inputs, the palm-sized device is claimed to be "the perfect companion for any singer/songwriter wanting to take their demos to the next level – with audio quality that's so good, they can be used in the final mix." Read More
The smallest gesture can hide a world of meaning. A particular flick of a baton and a beseeching gesture can transform the key moment of a concert from mundane to ethereal. Alas, computers are seriously handicapped in understanding human gestural language, both in software and hardware. In particular, finding a method for describing gestures presented to a computer as input data for further processing has proven a difficult problem. In response, Microchip Technologies has developed the world's first 3D gesture recognition chip that senses the gesture without contact, through its effect on electric fields. Read More
A trip on public transport or to the local coffee shop might give the impression that touchscreens are everywhere, but scientists at Autodesk Research of the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto are looking to take the ubiquity of touch interfaces to the next level. They are developing a “Magic Finger” that allows any surface to detect touch input by shifting the touch technology from the surface to the wearer’s finger. Read More
The world may not be your oyster, but thanks to technology being developed at Indiana’s Purdue University, it may soon be your multi-touch screen. Researchers at that institution have created an “extended multitouch” system, that consists of a computer, video projector, and Kinect camera – the technology allows any surface to be transformed into a touchscreen interface, that can track multiple hands simultaneously. Read More
For many sufferers of aphasia, a disorder caused by stroke that impairs the language centers of the brain, simple things like writing or typing up emails become incredibly difficult. One inventor, though, has created an email interface based on the Kinect system that allows his mom to do the impossible, and send simple emails to her friends and family. Read More
Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have announced a breakthrough in prosthetics that may one day allow artificial limbs to be controlled by their wearers as naturally as organic ones, as well as providing sensations of touch and feeling. The scientists have developed a new interface consisting of a porous, flexible, conductive, biocompatible material through which nerve fibers can grow and act as a sort of junction through which nerve impulses can pass to the prosthesis and data from the prosthesis back to the nerve. If this new interface is successful, it has the potential to one day allow nerves to be connected directly to artificial limbs. Read More
We've previously featured a number of devices that give players a low latency interface to the world of device-based digital tone manipulation, but each one poses something of a risk for those who like to rock out. To reduce the chances of a connected tablet or laptop flying across the room as you twirl the guitar around your body Malmsteen-style, Ion Audio has developed a wireless system called Guitarlink Air that severs the physical link between device and instrument common to products like Apogee's JAM or the AcousticLink from Alesis. Read More
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
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
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
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