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Sony unveils 'floating interface' touchless display
A smartphone that allows users to browse the web by hovering a finger above links they would normally touch has been unveiled by the Japanese electronics giant Sony.
The firm describes the technology as a "floating touch" user-interface. The Xperia Sola handset is due to go on sale in the second half of 2012.
But some mobile phone analysts question whether the feature will be practical or popular.
A number of firms around the world have been exploring gesture control possibilities for quite some time.
Giants such as Apple, Microsoft and US mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm, as well as several small start-ups, are currently developing camera-based touchless technology.
Their aim is to let users perform tasks such as answering the phone, navigating the web and flicking through photos using gestures - for instance, snapping fingers in front of the screen.
It may be useful, for instance, when your hands are wet, but we still need to see the other practical implications of it”
Sony's new "floating interface" is different.
A user's finger will essentially act as a mouse cursor, highlighting a link. Once selected, it can be activated it with a single tap.
Calum MacDougall of Sony Mobile Communications called the phone's technology "a sense of magic".
See more http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17367993
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