It's a couch potato's dream come true. Teletouch, a program that runs on a smartphone, can dim the lights, turn off an alarm, or even double as a television remote.
To use this universal remote, a user points their smartphone's camera at an appliance that has been fitted with a Wi-Fi node. Vision software on the phone recognises what it is looking at and the phone then looks up the IP address of the appliance. The user classifies it as something that can be switched off and on, say, or turned up or down. The system remembers the setting, and then users are free to operate the object simply by pressing buttons on a virtual control panel. Teletouch can also control objects that are within Wi-Fi range but out of view.
Teletouch's developer, Pranav Mistry of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says "what you see is what you get" has long been the principle behind graphical user interfaces. He wanted to take that further. "With Teletouch what you see on the screen is what you can touch and control" in the real world, he says.
Source: newscientist.comAdded: 6 October 2011