Right now, Microsoft’s Surface isn’t in every home in the United States. Truth be told, it can’t really be found in a lot of places. But, we do get to see it shown off from time to time, and as most things go that come in small doses, we like what we’re seeing. This time around, a team of students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Robotics Lab have created something they call the DREAM — an on-screen digital joystick that has a couple tricks up its sleeve.
DREAM stands for Dynamically Resizing Ergonomic and Multi-touch. It’s an on-screen joystick that is activated when five fingers are set onto the touchable Surface. As the name implies, the joystick will then resize itself to fit the user’s hand. It makes for an experience that’s just as entertaining to watch, as we might assume it is to play.
Unfortunately, as the video below shows, the system is pretty cumbersome so far. While the joystick may change its size to fit the individual player, that doesn’t help the efficiency. For most, holding a video game console’s game pad in your hand, or using the traditional mouse-and-keyboard combo may seem better. And while the demos work, we have to admit that the Flight Simulator demo looks more fluid, while playing Portal looks more like a headache. Though, with some optimizations and what not, the gaming experience could probably be very smooth and idyllic.