handcircus

Games and Interaction design

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Some guys get all the fun

I wish I was a researcher at university with a cool name like Jefferson Y. Han, and people threw money and amazing components at me to bake them a cake of new forms interaction. (if anyone is listening and needs such a cake, do let me know). Anyway, I'm not, but fortunately someone else is, and they've been researching touch-screen technology with multi-point input. One of the main draw-backs with current touchscreen technology is that you can only click one thing at a time. Not a big deal if you are using a stylus to click things, but if you need to perform more complex actions (such as stretching, bending, painting while rotating etc) then you'll need a bit more interaction bandwidth. Han's system provides that bandwidth, as the demonstration videos gracefully illustrate. This is definitely going to become big in the future in creative industries, as it makes some actions so much easier if you can peform different actions with different hands, let alone different fingers (theres a nice demo video of a prototype maya using two pucks on a giant wacom tablet to rotate and sculpt at the same time). Applications for games are most certainly true there. Imagine a catapult game, one hand moves the catapult, the other stretches it back, or perhaps geometry wars?

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