While the iPhone 4 may already be sleek and slender, pulling it out of your pocket or bag every time you need to use it can sometimes be slightly troublesome. Future iPhones could eradicate this irritation by allowing you to do everything from taking calls to playing games by making gestures on the palm of your hand.
Researchers at the Hasso-Plattner Institute in Germany have created an invisible iPhone concept that uses clever cameras to track gestures you make on the palm of your hand with your fingertips:
Imaginary Phone allows users to control their mobile devices without taking it out of their pocket. Instead, users mimic the interaction on the palm of their hand. The interaction is tracked by a wearable depth camera which sends input events to the actual physical device.
The concept currently relies on a user’s muscle memory to operate the device, so you have to imagine your iPhone is in your palm and remember how all of your applications are laid out. While this notion may seem slightly absurd, one study carried out in October found that iPhone users could successfully use their memory to recall the position of their apps on a blank phone placed in the palm of their hands:
In a study that has been submitted to the User Interface Software and Technology conference in October, the researchers found that participants could accurately recall the position of about two-thirds of their iPhone apps on a blank phone and with similar accuracy on their palm. The position of apps used more frequently was recalled with up to 80 percent accuracy.
The concept of turning our palms into touch screens, and essentially providing us with invisible iPhones, is still very much in its early days, so don’t expect Apple to announce the feature with the iPhone 5 later this year. But it certainly looks very exciting, and is potentially a sign of things to come.
Check out the impressive video below:
[via Redmond Pie]