Cambridge Consultants, a technology product design and
development firm based in Boston, used its
status as marquee sponsor for the 8th Annual Front End of Innovation (FEI) at
the Seaport World
in Boston, Mass., to introduce the Suma technology
platform at Booth #28.
With more and more Internet, computer and gaming based
applications being displayed in 3D, this flexible platform technology offers
enhanced functionality for PC peripherals, giving users a futuristic level of
navigation. Enabling full analogue control from all fingers and thumb, the
latest Suma technology has been developed into an ergonomic “Suma mouse”
concept, showcasing its versatility and ability to unlock the human sense of
touch when interacting with next generation applications.
Unlike a traditional mouse, the new Suma mouse concept makes
the “click, pan, zoom, tilt” manoeuvres required when browsing a 3D environment
a much more intuitive and natural experience. Squeezing, stroking, rotating and
pressing the Suma skin will all give an individual reaction on screen.
With everyday applications such as Google Maps and Street
View now rendering in three dimensions, there is a growing demand for the right
interface to exploit their potential. When using a Suma enabled mouse, there
are no set boundaries for how to hold it or where to place your fingers. A
“Suma skin” enabled mouse can recognize how the user is holding it and wherever
they have placed their fingers, making it a comfortable and natural process.
While consumers are now familiar with gesture-based controls
and motion feedback, these do not fully exploit the subtlety and flexibility of
our hands’ control capabilities to the degree Suma technology can. With this
increased versatility, and without the requirement for distinct and separate
buttons, the next generation of 3D computer and gaming devices can be much more
ergonomic in their design.
Moving on from the squeezable interface debuted at CES 2010,
the new Suma platform can be implemented in any shape, from mouse to joystick,
integrating an analogue deformation sensor within the device. The sensor
network can be tuned to each application, including resolution, sensitivity and
stiffness of the deformable layer and active area. The Suma skin can be
integrated at an incremental parts cost of less than US$1, allowing it to be
designed into conventional controllers, as opposed to specialist equipment.
“Many existing mainstream 2D applications are now rendering
in three dimensions, for example Google Street View. Yet despite this rise, consumers
have been lacking an interface to elegantly navigate a three dimensional
environment” said Duncan Smith, head of Consumer Product Development at
Cambridge Consultants. “The second concept of Suma is equally applicable to
today’s technology as it is tomorrow’s 3D displays. About one quarter of the
motor cortex of your brain is dedicated to the muscles in your hands. No other
technology captures the power of this the way Suma does.”
The latest Suma technology platform is being demonstrated
for the first time at Booth #28, Front End of Innovation 2010 conference, May
3-5, 2010 at the Seaport World Trade Center Boston.