It's no mind reader, but MIT researchers Brandon Taylor and Michael Bove's "bar of soap" device should be able to tell you what gadget you're pretending to use based on how you hold it. Loaded with 72 capacitive sensors and a three-axis accelerometer, the prototype has a small screen that says what it believes you're pantomiming -- camera, phone, PDA, gamepad, and remote control are demonstrated in the accompanying video. In a slightly more realistic / entertaining example, a baseball is stuffed with sensors and used to determine what kind of pitch you've. Bove speculates the idea could potentially be used for high-tech golf clubs that tell you how incorrectly you're holding it or power tools that don't work unless you're gripping it the right way, and while we're sure there's other, more beneficial uses, we're really looking forward to figuring out why we always seem to slice right.

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MIT's 'bar of soap' knows just what you want when you hold it