SideSight Virtual Touchpad - But Does It Have Air Quotes?
The SideSight virtual touchpad lets you control the screen of your small phone or other device by moving your fingers around outside the area of the screen.
These gestures look like some kind of scrying... Take a look at the SideSight video.
(Microsoft Virtual Touchscreen video)
Here's how SideSight works: start by putting the phone or other device down on the table. A SideSight-enabled device has infrared sensors that detect the movement of fingers within ten centimeters of the device. You can duplicate a mouse click, control the cursor and even perform multi-touch gestures.
One of the advantages put forward for SideSight is that it actually gives you more effective screen area, since you will not be obscuring the screen with your fingers. This would be especially important for phones with very small screens.
This is an interesting point, since one of the main virtues for the iPhone touted by Steve Jobs is that it has no dedicated keypad - yielding more screen area.
For lots of science fictional references to the general idea of SideSight, see my earlier article
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/2/2008)