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Playing games on touchscreen devices is nothing new, with smartphones nowadays having millions of game applications. Controlling your games would of course be through the use of the touchscreen, but the most irritating thing about using the touchscreen as a controller in smaller devices is the fact that you are blocking part of the screen.

Keio University has come up with a little add-on that will put an end to your troubles, if you just don’t like obstructing the screen with your fingers.

The add-on is an elastic device that attaches to the front camera of your mobile device. It is built based on “Gel-Force” technology developed earlier in 2003. There are markers on the add-on that are detected and tracked by the phone camera, and by tracking deformations on the elastic add-on, the system is able to use this as input information. Of course, the precision of the controls depends heavily on your hardware, but most phone cameras nowadays should have a decent resolution and refresh rate.

View the video demonstration of the working controller here.

The add-on is also able to provide tactile feedback for the user, unlike the flat surface of the touchscreen. Attaching the add-on to the rear camera also provides the user with no obstruction to the screen at all.

Up until now, there have been various add-ons that have been developed for the gamers to attach to their phones to provide better controls for games, but these atttachments usually adhere to the screen and take up a lot of screen space.

It might sound strange to have a touchscreen phone, yet not use the touch function at all, but personally I think this is an interesting development, and not just for gamers either.