When looking to dazzle your friends with humorous examples of oxymorons, make sure you insert Alps Electric's new "Non-Contact Touchpad" right after "military intelligence" and before "jumbo shrimp" (that last one always
gets 'em laughing). Alps' prototype (shown without the hand model after the break) breaks linguistic and laptop convention by letting you control your machine with fingers waving about an inch above it. Right now it seems to have limited precision, with one sensor on either side of a rather more traditional pad picking up digits as they move from left to right or in a circle. So, touch-free retouching of images in Photoshop isn't quite possible yet, but with a few years of refinements anything is possible.