Microsoft researchers thumb noses at digit's limits

Microsoft researchers are exploring new ways of navigating around on mobile devices, including a system that would center around a touch screen operated by thumb power.

While thumbs have already been stretched into new directions by tiny keyboards, the latest advance would have them replacing the stylus as well. According to a report on Brighthand, Microsoft is looking at two approaches which would allow the thumb to control a touchscreen menu of different choices.

Ergonomic researchers may not like it though; Repetitive stress experts are already concerned about "BlackBerry thumb"--saying the thumb was meant to control the space bar, not the whole keyboard.

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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