Future iPhones Could Pair The Touchscreen With The Palm of Your Hand

Future iPhones Could Pair The Touchscreen With The Palm of Your Hand

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:

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  • prof_peabody

    Riiiight.  Because all rooms in the future (wherever you go), will all have built in stereoscopic tracking cameras that can be accessed by the OS on your phone as you move from place to place???

  • anon

    Did you read this before you posted it?  “users wear a depth camera…”  This is a proof of concept.  Who wants to wear a camera just to watch your palm for gestures?

  • diamondprojects

    yes, but once you open the app you wont be able to use it or see it because….the phone is in your pocket.

  • Rebelord

    Awe sweet, this will go great with all my imaginary friends!

    So in other words I can forgo taking my iPhone out of my pocket, but if I’m not wearing a bluetooth headset along with my hand tracking camera handset, then I’ll look like I’m taking to my package.

    Plus it seems pretty inconvenient just so I can be lazy enough to not take my phone out of my pocket.

    “Look guys, I can play my games really badly by poking my hand instead!”

  • Matt

    And it’s not even April.

  • Sydney Nichols

    And it’s not even April 1st.

  • cheesy11

    i think its too much of a step forward, apple should try augmented reality

  • emanagedfutures

    If they make this change to the iphone, my friend will never see the light of day. Still sounds like amazing technology.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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