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Cameraphone used to control computers in 3D

January 23, 2008 | Chris Payatagool
nstechlogo.gifA camera-equipped cellphone can be used to control a computer as if it was a three-dimensional mouse, thanks to prototype software developed by UK researchers.

The software makes it possible to move and manipulate onscreen items simply by waving a handset around in front of a screen, a bit like the motion-sensitive Nintendo Wii controller.

"It feels like a much more natural way to interact and exchange data," says Nick Pears, of York University, UK, who made the system with colleagues Patrick Olivier and Dan Jackson at Newcastle University, also in the UK. "Most people who see it think it is really cool."

Pears says the current prototype, which can be used to control a desktop computer, is just the first step.

"The invention really comes into its own when you realise that modern large public displays are really just computers with big screens," he says. For example, the software could let people interact with video advertisements.

dn13187-1_500.jpgNew software lets waving a cameraphone control onscreen objects, a bit like a Nintendo Wii controller (Image: Nick Pears)

To control a screen, a user simply aims their cellphone's camera at it. The handset then connects, via Bluetooth, to the computer that operates that screen.

[via New Scientist]

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