SenseSurface - Girton Labs Cambridge
What next after the Mouse?
3 Dimensional control surface for PCs designed and built by Lyndsay Williams July 2008
This laptop has the top row of knobs replaced with real physical controls.
What happened to traditional knobs for volume controls on computers? Replaced with + and - controls on the keyboard, not so easy to find in a hurry.
Imagine a control surface with real knobs, sliders, real switches for your favourite music player, video editor or game. This is SenseSurface, just place the unique controls on your application e.g. a music mixer, and ready to go.
Applications that would normally use a mouse or Qwerty keyboard can be now controlled with traditional knobs. The scroll bar on the right hand side of your computer screen can be controlled with a real slider button. SenseSurface can be used with most laptops with a USB input. The sensing knobs have a custom designed movement sensor to determine position within approx 180 degrees with a 10 bit digital output, linearity typically 1%. The magnetic knobs can be removed and repositioned immediately by picking them up and moving to a different part of screen. A unique sensing x/y matrix is attached to the rear of the laptop screen to detect the control's position. The distance of the sensor from the screen can also be detected. The rotary controls are low friction and there are no screen finger prints as with normal touch surfaces. Linear sliders and switches can also be used on the lcd surface. For audio use, a logarithmic response can be programmed. The system is multitouch and scaleable , the number of controls on the screen is limited by the size of the screen. The screen can be at any angle. The SenseSurface should cost less than $100 in production.
Below - Close up of 3D control knobs on top row compared to flat surface of a normal laptop.
Below - Video of demonstration working potentiometer prototype connected to oscilloscope
Prototype control knob (RS)
The knob had a fixed base which attached to the screen and the knob rotates within the base.
or click here to view video
Email Lyndsay Williams, email@example.com for details of prototype.