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 'Fat fingers' can become dainty for touch screens

This story is from the category Sensors
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Date posted: 28/11/2009

Why are the latest touch-screen devices often larger than the push-button gadgets they replace? It has long been assumed the culprit is the so-called "fat finger" problem ? when touch targets are packed too close together, a fingertip may be too wide to hit the right one.

But the real reasons for touch-screen mishits are finger orientation and variation between users, suggests a study by Christian Holz and Patrick Baudisch at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany. More importantly, they can be corrected.

The fat finger problem is the main reason why icons on hand-held touch-screen devices are generally around 10 millimetres across. In recent years numerous ways around the problem have been explored, including the combination of a touch-screen with a touch-sensitive pad on the rear of the deviceMovie Camera.

To get a handle on the problem, Holz and Baudisch asked 12 volunteers to repeatedly touch a target on a touch-screen, but to do so with their finger held at a specific angle ? defined by the three-dimensional axes of pitch, roll and yaw.

See the full Story via external site: www.newscientist.com



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