New technologies and gadgets being released everyday, our editors have compiled a list of the strangest (or coolest) for your enjoyment. Which ones are your favorites? Lots of videos after the jump.

10. Multi-Input Touch Screen

New multi-input sensing technology allows users to interact with a system using more than one finger simultaneously. A 36″x27″ rear-projected screen with sensing resolution greater than 0.1″ at 50Hz is shown in the video clip above.

“Our technique is force-sensitive, and provides unprecedented resolution and scalability, allowing us to create sophisticated multi-point widgets for applications large enough to accomodate both hands and multiple users.”

9. Pack-Man

Finally, simultaneous multiplayer Pacman action, but it’s not what you think. Pack-Man requires five different players to control a single Pacman – each using a separate joystick – which leads to mass confusion. This setup consists of five beanbags, five custom built joysticks w/MIDI cables for communicating with the microcontroller, a projector, and speakers. Watch the animated demo.

“If one person moves left and one person moves right, PacMan will do neither. The software remains essentially unchanged, although it runs much slower (to account for the speed of group decision-making) and graphics have been added across the bottom of the screen to communicate what each of the joysticks is doing at any given time”


8. Mixed Reality Interface

KOMMERZ has developed an MRI (Mixed Reality Interface) system that can be used in a variety of applications – including presentations, games, architecture and landscape planning . This interface allows you to control virtual 3D models using real objects (such as toys, blocks, special characters, etc.). [Source]

7. Force Dynamics Rally Seat

The Force Dynamics Rally Seat has three degrees of freedom, 2gs of vertical acceleration, a 51.5-inch projection display, and +/- 30 degrees of pitch/roll. Practical applications include home entertainment, Simcenters, event marketing, and rally training.

6. Interactive Khronos Projector

It’s the coolest projector ever made. Alvaro Cassinelli’s Khronos projector allows users to interact with pre-recorded video by warping or distorting the image in real time.

A classic video-tape allows a simple control of the reproducing process (stop, backward, forward, and elementary control on the reproduction speed). Modern digital players add little more than the possibility to perform random temporal jumps between image frames.


5. Heliodisplay M2

Developed by IO2Technology, the “Heliodisplay M2” mid-air projecter is capable of projecting images from any video source onto a thin layer of smoke or mist.

The bottom frame of the image hover a few inches from the Heliodisplay and project up to 28″ (71cm) into the air. The slightly larger than a desktop computer tower M2 projects visible images under normal office lighting conditions


4. Microsoft’s Step User Interface

Microsoft has developed new StepUI technology which allows users to control applications using a dance pad instead of the usual keyboard/mouse combo.

“Average heart rate increased 19% while using StepMail and 13% for StepPhoto. Effort required needs to be balanced across the body.”


3. Sony Data Tiles

We have seen the future of portable computing, and it’s data tiles. Tagged transparent tiles are used to show dynamic graphical information when placed on a sensor-enhanced display.

“I am interested in designing a new human computer interaction style for highly portable computers, that will be situation-aware and assistance-oriented rather than command oriented.” Jun Rekimoto, Director, Interaction Laboratory, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

2. Futuristic Japanese Automatic Door

From the video, it looks as if built-in infrared sensors identify the person or object and conform to their shape when opening.

1. Brain-to-Computer Pong

Remember the brain-to-computer interface we covered? Now here’s a video of this technology in action which shows two players enjoying a friendly game of Pong, using only their thoughts to control paddle movements.

Honorable Mention – Warcraft III Multi-Touch Panel

Developed by Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL), this interactive multi-input panel allows users to control such games as Warcraft III with “an array of antennas embedded in the touch surface”. Basically, a receiver connected to each user’s chair, gets signals from antennas near the touch point. The displays are available in 32-inch and 42-inch sizes.

This unique touch technology supports multiple touches by a single user (e.g., two handed touch gestures) and distinguishes between simultaneous inputs from multiple users


The Combimouse

The Combimouse combines the functionality of a QWERTY keyboard and a full-fledged optical mouse into one device. Basically, when users touch a “Contact Switch” found in the right unit, it switches to mouse mode — I, O, J, K, L are used as mouse buttons. It’s powered by four AA batteries (two for each side) and features USB connectivity. Currently, Combimouse Pty Ltd has finished its prototype and is ready to commercialize the product. No word yet on pricing and availability. [Source]


A technology, gadget and video game enthusiast that loves covering the latest industry news. Favorite trade show? Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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