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How Do You Read a Text Message Without Using Your Phone? Like This…

German engineering is lauded for its craft, efficiency and reliability.

Usually, the theory refers to German auto manufacturing, but it’s actually a little restrictive. There’s plenty of innovative work happening in other areas, too.

Like mobile technology, for example.

At Ulm University, engineers are developing a new way of reading emails and text messages on your phone.

In fact, it doesn’t even involve your phone!

Welcome to the “Projector Phone”

The team is designing something called AMP-D – Ambient Mobile Pervasive Display.

It’s a device that projects digital information onto any flat surface – without needing to take your phone out of your pocket.

It uses a “necklace projector” with a built-in 3-D sensor that recognizes usual smartphone gesture controls like swiping and dragging. And it enables users to adjust the focal length and change surfaces without having to wait for the image to refocus.

Images can even be projected onto users’ hands.

As lead designer, Christian Winkler, says, “The interaction is much quicker and users are much more aware of their environment because information lies around you. So you’re much better connected to the environment, instead of always looking on your phone, especially while you’re on the go.”

Perfect for those folks who blindly stride towards you with their heads down, gazing at their phones!

Here’s how it works…


From Ulm to Toronto

From here, Winkler and his team are aiming to shrink the size of the projector to make it more practical.

“We can assume that maybe in three years, we could have a small device that’s wearable as a necklace, or clipped on the pocket or a handbag strap.”

In a city that already houses multinational auto firms like Daimler (DDAIF), Audi (NSU: Germany), BMW (BMW: Germany), as well as tech heavyweights like Intel (INTC), Siemens (SI), Nokia (NOK), Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY) and Airbus Group (EADSY) (European Aeronautic Defence and Space), the Ulm University team is extending the strong tech tradition.

Next month, they’ll jet out to Toronto to present their AMP-D innovation at a conference that focuses on computer-human interaction.

Ahead of the tape,

Martin Denholm

Martin Denholm

, Managing Editor

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