“Ilya Rosenberg and Ken Perlin present the UnMousePad, a paper thin, flexible multi-touch device about [the] size of a mouse pad. The UnMousePad not only continuously detects a multitude of touches, it also senses varying levels of pressure at a resolution high enough to distinguish multiple fingertips and even the tip of a pen or pencil. Because of its form-factor, it can be used for simple mouse input, for multi-touch gestures, or for a wide variety of interactive applications, such as games, 3D sculpting, 6DOF object manipulation, musical instruments, and interactive control of synthesized human voice,” reads an excerpt from the UnMousePad's description posted as a part of the presentations from Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2008 DemoFest.
Microsoft has had to artificially add multi-touch, gesture and object recognition capabilities into Windows Vista, as it places the operating system at the core of its surface computing product. But the same is not valid for Windows 7. The next iteration of the Windows client, and Vista's successor, will sport multi-touch and gesture recognition technology by default, and the UnMousePad seems nothing more than a natural fit for the operating system. Undoubtedly, the UnMousePad seems tailored to the new natural user interface of Windows 7.
The UnMousePad is nothing more than a prototype of Microsoft Research for now, but the product shows great potential for commercialization, especially with Windows 7 coming up.