“The UnMousePad – The Future of Touch Sensing” by Rosenberg, Perlin, Hendee, Grau and Awad

  • ©Ilya Rosenberg, Ken Perlin, Charles Hendee, Alex Grau, and Nadim Awad

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    The UnMousePad - The Future of Touch Sensing

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Entry Number: 24


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    Multi-touch input has been an active area of research for over two decades but has always suffered from the absence of an easily available high quality touch input device. For this reason, exciting user interfaces developed in the lab have appeared on CNN, but not on everyone’s desk, computer screens, table-tops, walls and floors. What has been needed – and lacking – is a better mousetrap; an inexpensive, flexible and sensitive touch imaging technology.

    The UnMousePad is that better mousetrap – a novel form of input sensor that enables inexpensive multi-touch, pressure acquisition at both small and large form-factors. It can accurately measure entire images of pressure with continuous bilinear interpolation, permitting both high-frame-rate and high quality imaging of spatially variant pressure upon a surface.

    Though the use of force variable resistors as multiple points of contact input devices is not new, previous work in this area has focused mainly on arrays of discrete and independent sensors. The key difference between the UnMousePad and previous technologies is that it is based on Interpolating Force Sensitive Resistance (IFSR), which closely mimics the multi-resolution properties of human skin, in which the position of a touch can be detected at finer scale than the discrimination of multiple touches.

    The development of the UnMousePad and other IFSR based sensors and an improved understanding of their electrical properties enhances the type and quality of information that may be obtained in situations where entire images of pressure need to be acquired in real-time or in situations where multiple points of pressure need to be continuously tracked.


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©Ilya Rosenberg, Ken Perlin, Charles Hendee, Alex Grau, and Nadim Awad ©Ilya Rosenberg, Ken Perlin, Charles Hendee, Alex Grau, and Nadim Awad

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