Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Microsoft’s Multitouch Mice are Weird, Amazing

Buzz this
We’ve seen the multitouch capabilities of the iPhone; we’ve seen a similar thing on the trackpad of MacBook Pro, and we’ve seen a camera driven multitouch solution on Microsoft’s elusive Surface. Now, all those technologies suddenly seem to have converged in a bunch of conceptual multitouch mice, courtesy of Microsoft.

In the two videos below, you can see several Microsoft’s engineers showing off several entirely different devices. While one mouse’s surface detects touch and movement, the other does the same thing with a camera, and the weirdest of them all consists of several connected mechanical parts which you can move almost independently on one another.

For the end user, all of this means being able to do cool things like pinch, rotate, zoom, and flick on your desktop computer, just by using your mouse. While some of the gestures displayed in the videos look awkward, others seem quite natural; I’m sure we’ll see some of these technologies in the devices we use everyday really soon.