Microsoft working on ‘PocketTouch’ device input through clothing

By Tom Warren, on 18th Oct 11 9:39 am with 16 Comments

Microsoft’s Research teams have developed a way to interact with touch screen devices through clothing.

The software giant is due to present its work on the technology at the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in California this week. Microsoft has developed a method that involves a custom sensor on the back of a smartphone. The sensor allows users to control the device through clothing.

GeekWire reports that the difficult challenge of the project was detecting device orientation. Microsoft’s solution involves an “orientation-defining unlock gesture” that allows the device to figure out which way is up. It’s not clear whether Microsoft plans to bring the technology to the mass market but the company generally utilizes its research tech in a number of shipping products.

  • Timothy Neinherz


    Good job Microsoft, now get it to market.

    Just don’t lose it like Reader and Origami, otherwise, you would mess it up and Apple fans would have some brainwashing again

    • Guest

      “Good job Microsoft, now get it to market.”

      gl with that. MS gets about 1 out of every 1000 R&D projects to market.

  • Seth_p

    I’m not sure if I’d be comfortable with someone stroking there pants or belly while I’m talking to them… might be distracting

  • Sokheang thea

    It’s kind of funny. :D what are the creative ways to market this? :D

    • Re

      I think it really interesting if you dont need to carry a mobile phone or laptop in the future physically. However, these products should be 4-5 years, so you see in the market.

    • Anonymous

      You can stroke your pants without being creepy :D

  • Guest

    Just fix existing input device bug in WP7. So many bugs involving WP7 keyboard it is shame that MS do not test the software properly before releasing it to mass.

    • OMG55

      no problems with my samsung focus or htc trophy running Mango.

    • DroidUser

      How come so many other are reporting the problems? They made a mockery of Apple’s IOS 5 update problems by offering free phones and what not, even though they experienced the same with Nodo update. Now this. MS has lost all credibility in Mobile OS. They cannot count on their Desktop OS to bail them out. Hope they do a good job and provide a better product.

    • Anonymous

      a keyboard temporarily turning off is not in the same league as a bricked phone or losing all your paid apps.

    • Anonymous

      LOL so you are admitting that you are not relaying first hand experience with Keyboard issues! Guest STFU! Tom can you do something about idiots who don’t register and continue to troll?

    • Anonymous

      translation: shut up.

    • Ramanan

      no problems with my Samsung Focus!! been running Mango since day of release…

  • Lewis McCrary

    +1 for being able to stroke my phone! :D

  • John Lueders

    I don’t know about this one…glad they are thinking…but sometimes it is good to hold your cards close to your chest. If it never comes to light, then it reflects poorly…if they implement it and it is a success like Kinect, then Bravo! I would rather have had them hold it back and then include it in their phones as a ‘we are the first to have this’ feature.

  • oolong2

    Oh great do we really need another perve outlet?

    “Excuse me Miss,  my hands are full can you stroke my phone for me?” 

    “I swear that’s just my phone”

    But seriously, good idea.   You could also integrate this concept into a remote capacitive touch that can be slipped into a notepad or integreated into a watch.  Then you would have multiple ways of communicating gestures to your phone.