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Photos: Many uses for multitouch

At a small conference in San Jose, Calif., participants talked about the future of interactive displays--and where the money is.

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Ina Fried
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Erica Ogg
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1 of 8 Ina Fried/CNET

Artificial Muscle

SAN JOSE, Calif.--At the Interactive Displays 2009 conference here Wednesday, a small group of participants aimed to figure out not just where the science of touch and gesture is headed, but also where the dollars are.

Artificial Muscle has been working on improving haptic feedback for gadgets for the last six months. Here, a Lenovo IdeaPad has been outfitted with Artificial Muscle's proprietary actuators underneath the touch pad (shown sitting on top).

When mousing over different areas of a screen, haptic feedback, which feels like a buzz or small vibration, will be felt in the touch pad of the computer. The actuators respond to audio signals in the computer and cause the haptic feedback.

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2 of 8 Ina Fried/CNET

Frank Lu of PQ Labs

Frank Lu, CEO of multitouch display company PQ Labs, shows how the technology can be used--in this case both to manipulate an eye or to steer its gaze.
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3 of 8 Ina Fried/CNET

Joey Yu Zhao of 22miles

Joey Yu Zhao, CEO of San Jose-based 22miles, demonstrates the use of multitouch technology for manipulating video. In this case, Zhao used his finger to overlay a drawing and then used a larger object, his cell phone, as an eraser.
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4 of 8 Ina Fried/CNET

GestureTek

GestureTek lets users employ their hands to control a video game. In this example, a player can mimic a steering wheel and then move his hands farther apart to accelerate and closer to slow down.
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5 of 8 Ina Fried/CNET

JDSU sun protection

JDSU makes a coating for LCD screens that prevents heat damage to devices used in direct sunlight or heat. Here the company demonstrates the product, called IR Blocker 70.

The heat lamp is set up very close to a laptop whose screen is half covered in the protective layer, with the other half left unprotected. The black mark on the right side is the effect of the lamp burning the LCD screen. It can be used in outdoor displays, GPS systems, ruggedized PCs, and commercial kiosks.

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6 of 8 Ina Fried/CNET

Artificial Muscle Smart Move haptic tech

Here, Artificial Muscle's Smart Move haptic technology is shown in a touch-screen application, such as what could be used in a kiosk at a supermarket or airport. The volume dial causes a buzzing sensation to be felt as each click of the dial is passed over with a finger.
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7 of 8 Ina Fried/CNET

Jeff Han

In discussing his inspiration for his work in multitouch, Jeff Han of Perceptive Pixel pointed to a mid-1980s PBS video he saw of Bill Buxton (shown here) discussing one of the earliest implementations of multitouch.
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8 of 8 Erica Ogg/CNET

Synaptics

Synaptics provides the touch-screen technology inside devices like the T-Mobile G1 phone and HP's Voodoo Envy laptop. Here, the G1 is pictured on the left. In the middle is the Synaptics sensor used inside the touch screen. On the far right is the sensor used in the Envy.

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