There are times when our fingers might be dirty and we might have to resort to using our knuckles to interact with our smartphone or tablet. Then there is also the issue with people with long fingernails, or those with fake fingernails who might find it cumbersome to use touchscreen displays, but since touchscreens these days don’t react to fingernails (unless they’re resistive), it could be quite inconvenient for some. Interestingly a company called Qeexo is looking into developing a touchscreen that will be able to distinguish between our fingertips, our fingernails and our knuckles.
The technology is dubbed FingerSense and instead of just alternating between the fingertip, nail and knuckle as possible taps, what their technology hopes to do is allow the user to perform different functions depending on how they touch the screen, which could be thought of as performing “right clicks” on touchscreen displays. This is possible due to the use of an acoustic sensor that will pick up on the different sounds one makes which touching with their fingertip, nail or knuckle (try it now if you haven’t already). That and along with software will use the information gathered to determine how the display has been touched.
The company has created some demo apps, such as a drawing app that lets you draw with the tip of a stylus, erase with the other end and even lets you smudge the drawings (like you would with a pencil drawing) using your finger. They have also adapted their technology to the popular mobile game, Fruit Ninja, where using your fingernail will slice bananas, using your knuckle to crack the coconuts and using your fingertip to squish berries. Sounds pretty awesome and it will open all sorts of possibilities, and with Qeexo currently in talks with phone manufacturers about using its technology, perhaps those possibilities might arrive sooner than we think.