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Talk to the hand: How you will just tap your finger to communicate with next generation iPhones

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hand-phoneNEXT generation smartphones could do away with screen interfaces altogether and see users just making a series of hand gestures to communicate with their devices.

Engineers at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, have created the "imaginary phone" concept that turns the palm of a hand into a smartphone touch interface.

Using spatial memory built up while operating the physical device to remember gestures and the relative position of icons on the phone, users can perform simple smartphone tasks without the need to actually have it in front of them.

The imaginary phone concept uses a depth-sensitive camera to detect hand gestures such as tapping and sliding, then clever software to analyses the video and instructions are sent back to the smartphone.

Patrick Baudisch, professor of computer science at the Hasso Plattner Institute, and his colleagues believe that their concept could free users from physically retrieving a device to carry out the large number of "micro interactions" which users perform every day.

He said: β€œThe imaginary phone serves as a shortcut that frees users from the necessity to retrieve the actual physical device.”

He added that the concept would be useful for sending calls to voicemail or turning off an alarm.

The system does, however, rely on users remembering the position of icons on the phone's display, so it will only be useful for commonly performed tasks - unless you've got a photographic memory.

See the hand-phone in action below...

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