New tech lets users 'Pinch' their way to multiscreen bliss

In a research project, multiple mobile products can sidle up to each other, and with a simple pinch motion, join forces in a single-display lineup.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
Pinch in action, courtesy of Diginfo.
Pinch in action, courtesy of Diginfo. Screen capture by Don Reisinger/CNET

A new display technology being tested in Japan could eventually allow mobile users to stack up smartphones and tablets to create one, big display.

Dubbed "Pinch," the software is being developed at the Tokyo University of Technology. According to Diginfo, which was first to report on the news, users can place smartphones or tablets next to each other in any way they wish, and by using a simple "pinch" motion, link the two displays to create one larger screen.

The pinch motion is achieved by placing one finger on one display and another finger on the other screen and bringing them together.

A video showing the technology in action offers views of several products, including iPhones and iPads, linking up. It's not clear how many phones and tablets can be linked to create one display, but the video shows quite a few all working together.

Exactly how the technology works hasn't really been divulged. However, Diginfo says that each service can be integrated into applications created by developers. The software works via Wi-Fi, allowing each device to talk to each other to determine screen placement and alignment.

Although Pinch is still under development, the research group working on the project told Diginfo that it has opened it up to some developers to see what they create. It's not clear which apps it might run on or when they might launch.

(Via The Verge)