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From what I can see, there's not too much exciting coming out of CES 2013, yet. For the most part, what's happening in Vegas can stay there for now.
Indeed, one of the more interesting products to be announced is an iPhone case, the Canopy Sensus. Sensus enables the back of smartphones to be used for touch input. It's an interesting approach. But not a new idea.
Back in 2007 Mitsubishi together with Microsoft introduced the "LucidTouch" input system. LucidTouch (please see the second video below) was an interesting approach to making touch a more natural user interface. Why block valuable screen real estate with multiple fingers when the back of devices go completely unused? And since then, other companies patented similar back of device uses. None have come to market.
It's interesting to note that Mitsubishi made one of the first true multi-touch products, the DiamondTouch, which was being shown years before the iPhone.
Companies such as Mitsubishi and Microsoft are great at showing off lab-based innovations. But it's time for some real-world excitement. Hopefully for them, ideas such as LucidTouch can help them with a comeback.
Canopy Sensus case for the iPhone, CES 2013:
LucidTouch from 2007 via Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) & Microsoft.