Over the past few months, we’ve seen multi-touch technology implemented in Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s Surface interactive table. Now Microsoft is working on implementing multi-touch support in a far less exotic device: the lowly notebook. A video posted by the guys over at Gizmodo shows a Steve Hodge, the manager of Microsoft’s Sensors and Devices Group, demonstrating a prototype multi-touch implementation hacked into an off-the-shelf laptop.
Said notebook has a hole cut in the back of its display bezel, where Microsoft placed a small array of infrared sensors. Hodges explains that the sensors emit infrared light through the panel and react when a user’s fingers get up close the display. This control method allows people to use as many fingers as they want to control a compatible interface—rotating or pinching motions can rotate or zoom images, for instance. The sensor also responds to signals from a standard infrared remote. Hodges doesn’t say whether or when this technology may find its way into retail notebooks, though.