Transparent polymer film that can be applied to non conductive materials and turn them interactive. Very thin, it uses projected capacitive technology, making it possible to apply on the back of a glass and detect finger touch on the front of the glass.
Just thinking about re-imagining the interaction relationship between input and view. Right now (on a touchscreen device) you touch the thing you want, which blocks some other interface items from view. You’re also probably holding the device at the same time which makes managing all three difficult (how many times do you drop your phone?).
On the other end, keyboards, mice, pen-tablets, etc. are so rigid in their form and force the user into a certain mental and physical context in order to use them. Can applying this film to any surface open up the door to more ergonomic and smart view/interaction paradigms, such as touching directly behind the screen or on the side (to target different Z-depths)?
I can also see a future where non-traditional materials become candidates for use in technology implementations due to this film being applied (wood, fabric, etc.).
Now for some commentary: When I first saw this I was extremely excited. As someone who carries their Moleskine around everywhere I’d love a more powerful and web-connected digital replacement. In fact I’ve debated buying a Modbook pro for a while, but in the end it’s just too large to effectively replace my small-format Moleskine. And the iPhone doesn’t have a stylus so UI sketches with my fat-finger on a bouncing subway is out of the question as well. So the courier seems to be the right format and size and seems to offer functionality I could put ot use right away. But the more I watched the demo, the more I realized though those page-flip metaphors have to. Have we not outgrown this yet? This was cute in 2002, old in 2005 and I feel has no place in future computing. Yes, even future computing that seeks to directly mimic and replace things that do page-flips in the first place (books/magazines/newspapers). I mean even the new google magazine browser is called flip. Cool name. Tired metaphor. I made a point a while back that the NY Times Reader AIR application hitched it’s wagons too heavily to the newspaper format reading experience and didn’t innovate in new, more powerful ways to organize content in a composition beyond the “page” layout paradigm currently in play. I feel the exact same about Courier and almost all page-flip paradigms out there. Because in the end, if flipping the page really more useful to the user than something that’s quicker, requires less gestural input from the user and taxes the graphics engine less?
Now I understand this is a pre-production demo/leak/PR piece so the more sex the better. Hence all of the juicy flipping and spatial blurring, etc. I get it. But in the end, I’d love to see Courier’s UI team look beyond the limitations of a “page/page-flip” metaphor and onto a paradigm/metaphor that is more efficient/powerful/useful than any physical analogue.
We’re ready to break the shackles of digital-metaphors-that-map-to-the-physical-world-because-we-wouldn’t-be-able-to-understand-how-to-use-the-computer-any-other-way. Recycle bin get off my digital desktop and back onto the floor next to my feet.