Deutsche Telekom (DT) researchers have developed MagiTact, software that makes it possible to control a cell phone by moving a hand-worn magnet close to it. MagiTact works on devices with a compass sensor, such as the Apple iPhone and Google’s Nexus One. The software tracks changes to the magnetic field around a cell phone to identify different hand gestures. “The idea is to develop a way to interact with mobile devices through more natural human gestures,” says DT researcher Hamed Ketabdar. Meanwhile, Hasso Plattner Institute researchers are working to improve touchscreen interaction by adding a touch-sensitive pad to the back of devices and by studying the angles at which users’ fingers touch the screen to make buttons smaller.
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