Most every touchscreen in the market today can only register your finger input as coordinates; that's fine for most uses, but it leads to a lot of double-taps and occasionally convoluted gestures. A pair of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Chris Harrison and Scott Hudson, have suggested that shear touch might be a smarter solution. Instead of gliding over fixed glass, your finger could handle secondary tasks by pushing in a specific direction, or simply pushing harder, on a sliding display. Among the many examples of what shear touch could do, the research duo has raised the possibility of skipping through music by pushing left and right, or scrolling more slowly through your favorite website with a forceful dragging motion. The academic paper is still far away from producing a shipping device, although a Microsoft doctoral fellowship's partial contribution to funding the study indicates one direction the technology might go. You can take a peek at the future in a video after the jump -- just don't expect a tablet-based Van Gogh this soon.
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