University researchers have suggested that the optical sensors used in the computer mouse can also be utilised in small mobile phones and digital music players.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute have discovered that the installation of optical sensors at the back of a mobile device can enable the technology to be placed against a surface and used like a computer mouse.
Thanks to a new input method, coined Minput, the sensors allow devices to respond to up-down and side-to-side motions, much like the iPhone.
Chris Harrison, who developed the method with his faculty adviser Professor Scott Hudson, explained that the Minput could be used as an intuitive way of navigating through menus and photo galleries.
He said: "Optical sensors are already fantastically well-engineered. And at about a dollar apiece, they wouldn't add much to the cost of a mobile phone or music player."
Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute also discovered earlier this month that a combination of simple bio-acoustic sensors and sophisticated learning can make it possible for people to use any part of their bodies to control mobile devices.