(Left) Four screens showing the same image on the fly (via Rocketnews24 in Japan) (Right) More examples (via Tokyo University)
The digital age seems to have driven us apart allowing, keeping us in our mobile OS screens, our little private universe. A new interface being developed by the Tokyo University is hoping to bring us closer by allowing screens of iOS devices to work together showing portions of the same image or play face-to-face games.
The interface called “Pinch” is an intuitive application that allows for video, images, games and other multimedia to be shared between two or more iOS devices. To link the devices, you simply bring the edges of any number of devices together and with a finger on each screen, you pinch across both screens and they become linked.
Multimedia becomes shared between, however many screens have been pinched in a way that best displays the content like a video wall. The program also automatically aligns the images and a tap realigns them. “Pinch” even adequately links screens of different sizes like iPads and iPods to properly watch the video.
The devices stay linked with Wi-Fi. They program is dynamic so if the orientation of the linked screens is changed, the video will be rotated so the aspect ration fits best within that orientation.
The research team is opening up the application to programmers so they can develop apps for the Pinch interface. They have created a few apps to demonstrate what Pinch is all about but the interface is still in the prototype stage.
Ad hoc video walls created with Pinch could be used for creative face-to-face multiplayer games, big creative apps and sharing video between devices so you can finish watching that interesting TED talk on your iPad when your iPhone is about to die.
Sharing screens will hopefully remind people that they always need each other to have fun or at least explore sweet Pinch apps.