Cambridge Consultants develop Suma squeezable UI

Suma Controller

A lot of developers are working towards devising technology that integrates human and machine interaction in more intuitive ways. Cambridge Consultants is the latest to introduce a novel squeezable UI technology with the Suma. The technology translates finger and hand grip movements into software readable form to allow for advanced control of games, the internet and similar computing applications.

“Our hands are extraordinary instruments for control and communication. One of our earliest instincts as babies is to grip and grasp, and about a quarter of the motor cortex of the human brain is devoted to the muscles of the hand. Yet current input devices for computers and games do not fully exploit these capabilities. Although gesture-based control is a huge step, even this does not convey the subtlety and flexibility of what our hands can do,” explains Duncan Smith, head of Consumer Product Development at Cambridge Consultants.

This low-cost technology incorporated within the Suma sensor system interprets 3D deformation of a squeezed object into software readable form. Suma-based gadgets will be capable of capturing every hand gesture intuitively and permit better control as compared to current controllers. This technology can be applied to everything from gaming to creative arts to music to harness the combined abilities of the human hand and imagination.

“By capturing that complexity, Suma enables product developers in a range of industries to greatly enhance the experience of their users, adding multidimensional interaction to both existing and new applications.Emerging trends like 3D displays and augmented reality are bound to stimulate interest in Suma’s unique capabilities, where the emergence of next generation applications is limited only by the lack of suitable input devices. But it’s also just as relevant and exciting for existing 2D applications and web-based services, where squeeze-to-click can now become squeeze-to-control,” added Smith.

A Suma-based device can be pictured as a conventional game controller enveloped in a Suma skin instead of the normal casework. This integrates the Suma sensor network at an incremental expense amounting to less than $1. Cambridge Consultants will showcase a prototype of their Suma-based game controller at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas from January 7 to January 10, 2010.