What you are seeing here is a project from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University, and it could easily be the future.

This OmniTouch has the amazing ability to turn any surface into a touchscreen. All of this is possible with this shoulder-mounted device that is both pico-projector and Kinect.

So if you want to use your hand to run applications, just hold it out and the proper buttons will appear. Forget about a tablet PC, all you need is just a paper tablet!

What I really like is how the user can just go to a nearby wall if they want to see an email. He or she can even finger paint on the wall, using their hand as a palette. Yes, the hand can be used as an interim interface, like when you want to project your display on your desk, for example.

Considering that we didn’t have a lot of the devices that we have now ten years ago (heck, we haven’t even had iPhones for half a decade), one has to wonder where we are going with mobile technology. I can’t help but think that this could be the future, if this shoulder-mounted device was a little bit smaller and less protruding. If it was the size of a button, I’ll bet people would be more open to it.

In the meantime, I am content with sitting back and letting the future surprise me.

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