Lyndsay Williams’ SenseSurface Demonstrates The Future Of Computer Interfaces

Lyndsay Williams has invented a 3 Dimensional control surface for PCs that combines tactile knobs with a multi- touch screen. Brilliant!

Developed at the Girton Lab, in Cambridge, UK, the SenseSurface has direct implications for music applications, but can also be used as an effective controller for video games. According to Williams, “applications that would normally use a mouse or Qwerty keyboard can be now controlled with traditional knobs. The scroll bar on the right hand side of your computer screen can be controlled with a real slider button. SenseSurface can be used with most laptops with a USB input. The sensing knobs have a custom designed movement sensor to determine position within approx 180 degrees with a 10 bit digital output, linearity typically 1%.”

“The magnetic knobs can be removed and repositioned immediately by picking them up and moving to a different part of screen. A unique sensing x/y matrix is attached to the rear of the laptop screen to detect the control’s position. The distance of the sensor from the screen can also be detected. The rotary controls are low friction and linear sliders and switches can also be used on the LCD surface. For audio use, a logarithmic response can be programmed. The system is multitouch and scaleable, with the number of controls only limited by the size of the screen.”

According to Williams, the SenseSurface should cost less than $100 in production. Wow, cheap and awesome? This will throw Controllerists into a tizzy!

Potential SenseSurface Applications:
» Mouse/ keyboard functions
» PC volume, brighness, contrast control
» Word processing, screen scrolling
» Music recording/playback
» Video editing
» Games
» Flight Simulators
» Medical
» Rotary controls for data input spreadsheets
» Reduce RSI in hand

One can only imagine the possibilities of having a system like this in front of your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), or as a controller for live performance. The possibilities are limitless…

Learn more about SenseSurface.

Author: FutureMusic

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