Folks who use Apple’s video iChat or Skype Video—and especially those who make a living by selling webcam video—owe a debt to a long-ago technology called Cu-SeeMe. I bet they’ll be wowed by the more recent work of Jefferson Y. Han, a guy who worked on that long-ago-technology. Mr. Han has gone on to work with graphical methods for people to operate on video screens (GUIs). Mr. Han founded a company, Perceptive Pixel, to further his work on “Frustrated Total Internal Reflection.”
Frustrated Total Internal Reflection is a means for graphical input that permits detection of multiple finger touches on rear-projection surfaces. Hunh? Well, folks probably have experience with touchscreens where a tap of a finger works like a click of the mouse button. Instead of a tap of one finger, think of a dragging fingers over a screen with each one having independent effects. Steve Jobs showed a miniature application of this technology for the iPhone, but Mr. Han and his colleagues have it for serious…for very serious.
Prepare to waste some time: Go to
- Bi-manual, multi-point, and multi-user interactions on a graphical display surface and watch the demo video.
- Check Multi-Touch Sensing through Frustrated Total Internal Reflection for further info.
- Watch Mr. Han’s demonstration of this technology in Feb of 2006; pay attention when he talks about having lots of great data.
- Then go see the 19 January 2007 and 19 March 2007 entries on The Last Minute Blog (alt sites for first and second videos.
- Mr. Han
- Perceptive Pixel
David Pogue’s blog entry cost me the couple of hours I spent chasing Mr. Han’s work around the Internet.