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Even though touchscreens started appearing long before the iPhone, keyboards and mice have been out faithful companions for decades. Kinect seems to have gotten Microsoft bent on a paradigm shift towards gesture control. The people at MIT, however, have a different idea.

ZeroN is a metal orb kept levitating by a mganetic field. It can be moved by hand or remotely. When it's moved to a spot, it stays there. It also has the ability to memorize the trajectory it was moved it and replicate these movements on its own. This is achieved through a computer-controlled magent which can move and change its pull, dragging ZeroN along with additional assitance from an array of infrared cameras. With the right software thrown in, it's capable of some useful things.

As seen in the video, for example, it can be used as a 3D camera to make 3D object modelling much easier. Another possible application is a 3D mouse of sorts. Either way, ZeroN literally adds a whole new dimension to computer input controls and the possibilities for a technology like this are limitless. Anyone from a Call of Duty player to a corporate executive should be able to think of ways to put ZeroN to good use. 

MIT are currently working to expand the potential of ZeroN even further by making the magnetic field able to handle several objects at once, which would create that much more possibilities.

By Denis Ivanov

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