Smartphone joystick converts camera to input device

first_imgTouchscreen gaming has two problems it’s hard to work around: a lack of feedback and covering parts of the screen while you play. The feedback issue is being worked on with new developments using haptics, but covering the screen is a real head scratcher as how else do you input using touch?A research team at Keio University may have the solution. Instead of touch input they have developed a 3-axis analog joystick. Now you may be thinking touchscreen joysticks have been around a while and still cover part of the display. But this joystick is different as it sits over the top of you smartphone or tablet’s camera instead.On the underside of the joystick are a number of markers that can be read using the camera. As the user provides input, software interprets that input (vertical, horizontal, skewed, or distance apart movement) and relays it to the app being controlled. The precision of the input is governed by the quality of the camera, with a higher resolution and refresh meaning higher precision.The joystick relies on GelForce, a tactile sensor material used for high precision measurements. And as it can be fitted over any gadget’s camera, it is possible to stick it to the back of your smartphone rather than the front. That way your display is completely free of obstructions and could still be used alongside the joystick if necessary.There’s no word on when and if the Keio University joystick will ever come to market. If it does, the one downside I can see is increased battery use due to the camera having to be active all the time it is in use.Read more at DigInfo.tvlast_img read more