The idea of controlling a computerized device through nothing but your finger once seemed like a crazy notion, but touchscreen technology has made it quite commonplace. What if you could perform computer functions by touching any surface using a special device worn around the finger? This is basically what the Magic Finger aims to do.
This project is the work of Autodesk Research, the Unversity of Alberta and the University of Toronto. The Magic Finger utilizes a micro-sized camera and an optical flow sensor on the finger. This allows it to tell the difference between various sources including a deskt, paper or even skin. It also can recognize 2D data matrix codes, and can even have magic fingers touch together to transfer information— kind of like S-Beam or NFC for your finger.
The device can sense 22 textures with an accuracy of 98.9 percent. It is still a prototype at the moment but it certainly has potential uses, especially for augmented reality computing and other similar types of applications.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think. Imagine something like the Magic Finger combining forces with Project Glass, or something similar, to truly give us an immersive computing experience. This kind of computing is still a ways of, but it will likely come quicker than most of us realize.