30 November 2009
Get a grip with...Suma
Squeezable interface technology for games, internet and other computing applications offers a uniquely intuitive, high resolution 3D control experience for an additional US$1
Cambridge Consultants, a leading technology product design and development firm, today announced the launch of Suma, a uniquely intuitive yet very low-cost squeezable user-interface technology that creates a whole new way of interacting with computers. With nearly 60% of US households predicted to own 3D displays within 5 years1, Suma offers a full 3D highly sensitive control experience for gamers and others who expect a high degree of interaction.
The patent-pending Suma sensor system translates the three dimensional deformation of a squeezed object into a software-readable form. Enabling highly sensitive control by finger movements and whole-hand grip in this way means that Suma-based devices can capture far more of the degrees of freedom of the hand than conventional controller technologies, without the need for cumbersome gloves or sensors.
A Suma-based device is like a traditional gaming controller with the normal casework replaced by a ‘Suma skin’. This incorporates the proprietary Suma sensor network at an incremental parts cost of less than US$1. Suma will enable companies developing a wide variety of products and applications - from gaming and design to music and creative arts - to unleash the full capabilities of both the human hand and the user’s imagination.
“Our hands are extraordinary instruments for control and communication,” explains Duncan Smith, head of Consumer Product Development at Cambridge Consultants. “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. 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.”
Cambridge Consultants is demonstrating a prototype gaming-controller based on the new squeezable Suma technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from 7-10 January 2010 (South Hall 1, booth 21419E). As well as illustrating the performance and sensitivity of the technology, the demonstration will show just how exciting and intuitive Suma-based applications will be.
Duncan Smith continues: “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."
1 source - Frost & Sullivan report ‘3D TV technology is on the rise, what does the future have in store?’ - available at http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/market-insight-top.pag?docid=168241099
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 400 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, energy and wireless communications.
Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, a global leader in innovation and high-tech engineering consulting which supports companies in the creation and development of their new products and services. With a staff of almost 21,000 employees in more than 20 countries, the Group generated revenues of €1,633m in 2013. For more information visit: www.altran.com
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