Microsoft invents fat (finger) controller

From Technology Review

Retrieving the stylus for a personal digital assistant takes time. But for detailed work, a stylus is usually better than a finger. Microsoft researchers believe that they’ve found a better way to activate tiny targets, such as a name on a contact list or a street on a map.

Microsoft’s solution, called Shift, allows users to employ their fingertips to select pixels in a new way. First, the user presses a finger on the screen over the area of interest. Holding down her finger activates the Shift software. A detailed view of the area of interest appears nearby on the screen, in a pop-up window on top of the original image. With slight movements of her finger, the user can guide a pair of crosshairs over her desired target within the pop-up window and then make her selection by lifting her finger off the screen…