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3-Axis Analog Joystick For Touchscreen Devices
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3-Axis Analog Joystick For Touchscreen Devices

This elastic device converts the camera of your smartphone into a fully functional 3-axis analog joystick. It is under development by a research group at Keio University.

"The way this system works is very simple. There are small markers in this elastic device and the markers are detected by this built-in front-facing mobile phone camera. By tracking how the markers move as the elastic device deforms, this system enables a variety of inputs."

"The camera is detecting the markers right now. When you press the device, like this, the markers move further apart, or they move horizontally or vertically, or they get skewed. So you can give the system a variety of inputs."

Using this input method on a touchscreen device enables games to be played with a joystick without obstructing a part of the screen. It also compensates for other disadvantages of touchscreen gaming such as the lack of tactile feedback and the screen getting oily.

"For example, if the rear camera is used with this elastic device, there's no need to block the screen with your fingers. So we think this could be used to browse maps with the view kept wide."

"Basically, the system's precision depends on hardware factors, like the camera resolution and refresh rate. The measurement method used is GelForce, which was developed by Professor Tachi's group at Keio in 2003. We already know the precision of GelForce is quite high. So we think the measurement precision could be similarly high."

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