Manual Deskterity

Check out this interesting video from Microsoft Research on using a pen and touch together in an interface. It’s part of Microsoft Research’s Manual Deskterity project.

Running on Microsoft Surface, the demo has some really cool examples of how a specific pointing device can be combined with the more general input of touch. Using the pen to write, to peel copies, as an exacto knife, a straight edge, and lots more.

At some point the interface starts to get a bit too complex — suffering from the same sorts of “is that really natural?” problems that Bumptop has. But not all users need the simplicity of a touch-only interface. And this research points to some nice ideas of how objects can be used to facilitate new types of interaction.

(Link via istartedsomething.)

Pen and touch
Pen as Exacto knife.
Exacto cut along a straight edge