Your touchscreen will soon distinguish between a finger, fingernail and a knuckle

Your touchscreen will soon distinguish between a finger, fingernail and a knuckle
Imagine being able to call up different features on your touchscreen phone depending on whether you used your finger, fingernail or knuckle on the screen. This is not as far away as you might think. Chris Harrison, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, has modified a Samsung Galaxy S III to distinguish the difference in touch input between a finger, fingernail and a knuckle.

The modded Samsung Galaxy S III has a small vibration sensor and when combined with Harrison's FingerSense software, the sensor can tell the difference between the three touch inputs based on vibrations and acoustics. A finger tip could let you select an object from the screen while a knuckle tap could act like a right-click on a mouse and show a sub-menu.

Harrison has started a company called Qeexo to sell the device and he says that the sensor can be added to the main circuit board of any smartphone. Harrison says he is in talks with major smartphone manufacturers now to bring this technology to the public. Harrison, though, says "the real magic is in the software, this artificial intelligence that lives in the heart of the phone".

source: Newscientist, YouTube via Gizmodo

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28 Comments

1. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

I can't wait to get and iPhone Punch just punch the screen!

26. Twisted247

Posts: 282; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

Isn't that the only use of apple products anyways? Punching the screen

2. regkilla

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 13, 2012

Phone bang lol

3. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1176; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Atleast we can look forward to a little piece of innovation then :) the fact that they are testing this on an S3 could mean the S4 may get it

4. ElektronicGeek91

Posts: 105; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Every time I think they ran out of ideas to put on phones, is the time they created something new. Good job, technology just gets better and better.

28. miles16852

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

this is nothing new, if you ever worked in a office, the multifuction machines have very nice touch screens that responds to your finger, or a stylus or your finger nail, this is nothing new, its been in use for years now.. and a few of the cell phones already had this,, example the palm centro as well as a few other palm phones already had it,,,,, but it sure would like to see it on most of todays phones,,

5. ncv144

Posts: 126; Member since: May 04, 2012

but nfc is still in the dark..... Anyway, nice touchscreens you got there Qeexo!

7. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Hmmm. Knuckle, nail, finger. You've got the makings of a great adult app right there. Seriously, even if it could eliminate/ignore random screen touches that'd be a great advance.

11. WakaFlakaD

Posts: 576; Member since: Apr 30, 2011

^Speaking from The Man!

9. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

This could actually spell the end of the mouse!! Brilliant work. In a few years, we will all be grateful to this guy

10. mozes316

Posts: 144; Member since: Sep 30, 2011

The tech world needs more people like this guy. Awesome idea.

12. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

We need this!!!!!! Where is Google trowing money at this guys door!?

14. spideyhead256

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

if this happens im already sold to get the s4.i use S-Memo on a daily schedule to sketch and stuff so this would be VERY helpful.

15. blackspot

Posts: 102; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

That's what I'm talking bout'! Innovation FTW!!

16. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

sunds nice

17. voxmarc

Posts: 339; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

Not bragging or anything...but the Note2 can swipe using fingernails,knuckle,even with tissue paper on my finger.....just add a little pressure.....thanks to wacom and the pressure sensitivity...it works....

18. laheelahee

Posts: 213; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

i just tried my knuckles & fingernail on my dad's HTC Incredible and it works. but it doesnt distinguish between them, is the point

23. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

Every phone can be swiped with a knuckle.

20. akishakoi

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 06, 2011

Why use your knuckle when you can use a banana or a fork? - Lumia 920. Lols

21. groupsacc

Posts: 232; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

I don't think most of youse understand this article. It's not just detection of fingernails and knuckles, it is able to distinguish them, thus for example, you can make fingernail touches as hover, knuckle touches as right clicks etc.

27. Twisted247

Posts: 282; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

Great app, quite impressive. This is a great idea for the women out there, my mother for one has longer nails and she keeps her older phone because it recognizes touch from what ever source. Vs the higher stuff of the current market which is heat sensitive so you have to use your knuckle or finger. Thats why I directed her to the note series and she is looking to go in that route. But this is a great idea for everyone. being able to have your menu button on any screen by simply throwing a knuckle is great! Among other possibilities.

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