Mar 042013
It’s the latest in mobile technology, inspired by an invention nearly a hundred years ago.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,  chipmaker STMicroelectronics is showcasing screen technology that works by just hovering your hand a few inches away from the surface. Thanks to motion sensors, users don’t have to touch a screen to flip through an e-book or surf the Web. No more finger smudges.

Little do tech addicts know that a similar hovering gesture was invented about a century ago in Russia. In fact, that is what inspired STMicro’s device, said Benedetto Vigna, the Geneva-based company’s head of MEMS and sensor products.

“There was a nice instrument invented in 1919 by a Russian guy called Theremin,” Vigna said in an interview. “You could play music with your hands by hovering above it, without even touching the device. That’s how we came up with the idea.”

Leon Theremin, also known as Lev Termen, invented what he called the termenvox, an electronic musical instrument built around two antennas. Also known as a theremin, the device has been used to create those eerie sounds found in old sci-fi movies.

Read more . . .

via Bloomberg


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