Smartphones are used by two billion of us to call, text, and of course access an amount of information in the palm of your hand that would have been unthinkable to generations before. As great as they are, one of the problems with this type of device is that they don’t have a keyboard input — leading to slower and sometimes inaccurate input.
One solution — being explored by researchers at the University of Stuttgart as well as the University of Regensburg in Germany — is to use not just a single touchscreen for input, but the backside of a phone as a touch interface as well. Their setup, dubbed “InfiniTouch,” takes two LG Nexus 5 phones, and morphs them into one handheld device. In order to save space, most of the actual phone electronics are located in a separate hardware container, which holds the Nexus circuit boards, batteries, and an Arduino MKR 1000 board.
Importantly, the InfiniTouch is not only capable of detecting touches on both sides, but can also identify fingers using a convolutional neural network with an accuracy of over 95%. While currently a prototype, it’s not a huge stretch to think of how this kind of interface could revolutionize phone-human interactions!