I decided to return to the question of High Performance GUI and look more carefully at the idea of making a light/laser wand or mouse. This requires a bit of a transformation in thinking – the screen becomes not just a passive display but active responder as well to light wand signals applied directly to the screen. Thus the monitor becomes a touch screen for GUI operations and a mouse replacement. As for the light wand there are many possibilities with literally a complete optical spectrum available with intensity, pulses, and/or wavelength changes to act as signals.
So I decided to do a little research at the US Patent Office:
And after a little trial and error (the patent office appears to be using a XMLPath shorthand) I was able to find 185 patent applications that applied around the concepts of light/laser as touch screen wand or mouse. Now many of these patents were really for pointer or display technologies; but reading through them one could see the basis for a passive display being turned into an active mouse/wand detector. Here is one of the most promising:
So there appears to be as conjectured a lot of technical feasibility for really adding High to the performance descriptions of GUI displays. But the mice vendors might not be enthusiastic. I wonder what Logitech and Microsoft are doing in this arena ? Remember, Bill Gates has famously said that it takes a “for profit” company to foster these kinds of innovations. Maybe the shareholders will want to ask what is happening with Redmonds $10s of billions in cash – a few million in seed capital might mean a better shot at Jon Udells high performance GUI.