Stories by Nick Barber

Skinput makes the entire body a touch interface

Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University publicly unveiled work at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Atlanta Monday that makes an entire body a touch interface. Called Skinput, the system listens to the sounds made by tapping on parts of a body and pairs those sounds with actions that drive tasks on a computer or cell phone.

Luminos add third dimension to Microsoft Surface

Using a Microsoft Surface table computer has typically been limited to two dimensional interactions, but research presented at the Computer Human Interaction (CHI) conference in Atlanta adds a third dimension.

New application could make all software 'open source'

Imagine controlling Apple iTunes from inside Microsoft Word without having to switch applications. That could be possible, according to researchers at the University of Washington who are working on a project that could essentially make any proprietary software open source.

Homemade, soccer-playing robots compete for trip to Atlanta

Cheering crowds packed into Boston University's Agganis Arena over the weekend not for a rock concert or sporting event, but for a robotics competition. More than 50 teams from across the Northeast U.S. and three other countries brought homemade robots to compete in the Boston regional FIRST robotics competition.

Battling AR helicopter controlled by iPhone

The new AR Drone helicopter combines an iPhone and virtual games to make a product that's drawing much attention at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The helicopter, or what France-based Parrot calls a quadricopter has four fans that allow it to fly in all directions.

LightSpeaker combines wireless audio and LED light

Klipsch has developed a device that combines a wireless speaker and LED light and installs into most standard light sockets. Called the LightSpeaker, it uses a base station transmitter to stream music to each unit, up to 50 feet away, using 2.4 GHz wireless technology.

EU closes 54 Web sites for consumer law violations

The European Union published findings of an 18-month investigation Tuesday finding that 301 Web sites that sold mobile phone ringtones, wallpapers and other services had "serious breaches of EU consumer law," according to a statement.

Prototype uses gestures to control appliances

Thumbs up, lights on. Thumbs down, lights off. That's all a user would need to do with the GestureID project from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology. After more than a year of intensive research, the group presented its project at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin.

Nanotouch technology shrinks touchscreen displays

Touchscreens can only get so small before fingers start to block most of the information on them, but a project from Microsoft Research and the Hasso Plattner Institut in Germany called Nanotouch allows a touchscreen device to be controlled from its backside, preventing fingers from occluding the screen.

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