LCD screen that works by interpreting hand gestures

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London, Dec 16 (ANI): Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a novel LCD screen that works by interpreting hand gestures, without touching the screen.

They insist viewers can control on-screen objects by waving their arms in the air without touching the screen, let alone a mouse or keyboard.

Although users can touch the screen to activate controls on the display but as soon as they lift their finger off the screen, the system can interpret their gestures in the 3-D.

"This is a level of interaction that nobody's ever been able to do before," New Scientist quoted Ramesh Raskar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, as saying.

The screen - dubbed BiDi, short for bi-directional - allows users to manipulate or interact with objects on the screen in three dimensions.

It will also function as a 3D scanner, he adds. "If you spin an object in front of screen, the software will stitch together a 3D image."

Researchers Raskar and Henry Holtzman's study sought inspiration by the way manufacturers of LCD panels, including Sharp and Planar Systems, are experimenting with adding optical sensors between a panel's pixels so that it can act as a touch-screen interface.

But according to Douglas Lanman at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, such displays have poor vision, like a camera with no lens.

They can clearly image objects that are in direct contact with the screen, but anything further away is blurred.

The researchers set out to modify the concept to let the screen see the world in front of it more sharply.

The new system uses an array of optical sensors that are arranged behind a grid of liquid crystals, similar to those used in LCD displays. They physically control how much light passes from the display's backlight.

In the new system a regular grid of hundreds of pixels spread across the screen use their liquid crystals to create a tiny hole that acts as a pinhole camera lens, focusing an image of the scene in front onto a thin translucent film a few centimetres behind the LCD.

Those images are detected by a camera inside BiDi, allowing the device to know what is happening before it. (ANI)

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