Innovation That Matters

Virtual buttons for the iPhone created from any surrounding surface


XTouch uses the phone's internal microphone to create virtual buttons for controlling actions within apps.

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It was only last week that we wrote about Fuffr, the iPhone case capable of turning any surface into a trackpad for the device. Now we’ve come across a similar spotting, this time from Canada, called XTouch — which enables iPhone owners to use surrounding surfaces as button controllers.

Already in use in two games on the App Store, XTouch technology enables users to tap specific areas of a surface to perform actions on the phone. To begin, users must lay their phone flat on the surface they wish to use as a controller. They are then asked to tap an area which they wish to use as button one, and then do the same for buttons two and three. These areas will then function as virtual buttons for controlling actions within an app. “XTouch extends the tactile environment beyond the surface of that mobile device”, explains co-founder Amin Heidari.

Unlike Fuffr, Xtouch requires no additional hardware. Rather, it uses the phone’s built in microphone to detect acoustic signatures. It then processes these signatures to pinpoint the location they originated from. You can see the app in action in the video below:


Currently in use on the games Tap Frogs and Magic Xylophone, how else could such location technology be put to good use?



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