With Windows 8, and continuing into Windows 10, Microsoft has created an OS with a bit more of a touchscreen focus. As a solution, many computer makers are selling laptops and all-in-ones with touchscreens, but what about users who already have a computer? The DuoPad trackpad aims to bring a touchscreen-like feel to PCs in a way that is surprisingly cool.
A standard trackpad would see the user simply moving the mouse pointer around on the screen, but with the DuoPad, the user's hand is captured by a high-resolution IR camera and then an image of it is placed on the screen. From there, users can tap, pinch, swipe, and make other movements that would work on a touchscreen.
Users can adjust the opacity and color of the hand that's shown on the screen, which should allow them to fine-tune the look to meet their needs. They can also darken the outline around the superimposed hand, to make it easier to see when low opacity is selected.
As the team behind DuoPad aims for its device to replace a traditional mouse, there's also a traditional trackpad mode, which will allow users to use this as their main mouse when accessing areas of Windows that are not built for touch (the Desktop, for example). A key part of this feature is that it features the ability to detect when an app supports touch automatically, which should make the experience of switching between touch and regular mode easy.
The DuoPad team is seeking funding on Indiegogo. It's very early in its funding period, but it's quickly moving towards its US$30,000 goal. Backers interested in preordering a DuoPad for themselves can do so for a minimum pledge of $69 while the early special lasts. The price goes up from there topping out at $89. The team expects to finish development and ship devices in December 2015.
The pitch video below shows the DuoPad trackpad in use.