It seems every device has a touch screen today. People use touch screen devices for many different purposes. These touch screen devices are intelligent; they can track user’s movements and make intelligent decisions regarding those movements. Hell, if your device took a love language test today it would get physical touch with words of affirmation being a close second. As people begin to acquire and use more touch screen devices simultaneously, however, the problem of input confusion can lead to unexpected results when multiple users are using touch devices at the same time. However, thanks to Microsoft’s touch discrimination system multiple people can use a touch screen device without worrying whether the touch device confused their inputs with a different user.
How Touch Discrimination Works
The touch system processes touch inputs from multiple users situated around a touchscreen. Using environmental and biometric information on different users’ touch to differentiate between particular users. Let’s say you’re working on a blueprint for your new home and the blueprint is displayed on a touch screen table. And different people want to zoom in on different rooms at the same time on the table. You tap, scratch or rub the surface of the table. The point is the surface of the table computes and registers the touch points of where users interact with the touch environment.
The touch table can also indicate the direction which the touch originates. It can tell which direction touch originates from by using connected components analysis. The components being your fingers, wrist and arm which are immediately connected. In other words, it can reverse trace from your fingers to your wrist to your arm. This connected component analysis aids in the touch discrimination since they can connect a touch to a single source, i.e., user.
What else can the Touch Discrimination System Do
This technology goes one step further and even uses computer vision mechanisms to collect information about the environment. It does this by using via visible and infrared light to get a view of the users surroundings. After the touch discrimination system collects the information, it computes and processes inputs of where a user is crossing light in the environment. This allows the system to determine where someone is in a room and the user’s movement from the user’s touch point. Phenomenal.
People and businesses can use this system in a surface computing environment. Manufactures can then make these environments available at different retail businesses. Finally, engineers, architects, can work and the same place without worrying about messing with each others plans.
The Wrap Up
Microsoft (and AI in general) is well on its way scaling this system up. Microsoft has created a system for touch discrimination. Perhaps in time AI will learn computer-to-computer discrimination to eliminate and outperform other systems developed by Microsoft’s competitors. But first it must master human-to-human discrimination.
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