Next-gen touchscreens Part 2: Minput

Staff writer
29 Jun 2010

Meanwhile, Chris Harrison is working on another mobile input concept - Minput, which proposes to turn your mobile device into its own mouse.

Minput involves attaching two optical sensors - the same ones used by computer mice today - to a mobile device, and move it like a mouse across a surface. According to, the sensors respond to up-down and side-to-side motions, like a computer mouse, but also to twisting and flicking motions, like an iPod.

Why bother? Because one of the drawbacks of touchscreens is the finger blocking the screen. Harrison says a mouse-like function would make it easier to do things like zooming in and out of photos and documents with a flick of the wrist, and enable high-precision positioning good enough to accurately select text on the screen, which is tough to do with your finger in the way.

One promising angle, says Harrison: optical sensors are already well-engineered and cheap. "At about a dollar apiece, they wouldn't add much to the cost of a mobile phone or music player," he told

BACK TO Next-gen touchscreens Part 1: Skinput

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