Designer Creates “Touchband” Interface to Make Cameras More Usable

Designer Miha Feuš doesn’t think the user interfaces on low-end compact cameras are very useable for the average consumer, so earlier this year he set out to create a better camera interface. After a good amount of thinking, building, and testing, Feuš made this video to share his ideas, show off his prototype, and report on his results.

His design revolves around a “touchband”, which is a one-dimensional touch sensitive area positioned next to the screen. According to his user tests, the touchband is easier to use than both traditional button interfaces and newer touchscreen interfaces. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll know Feuš as the Jakob Nielsen of the camera world.

  • noss

    nice & clever!!

  • Bas ter Beek

    I like the idea of the ‘touchband’, but I dont really see the difference between a normal camera and this camera in terms om user interface. Same icons, same words….!

  • BluntNate

    JVC already tried this kind of “one dimensional” touch panel interface, They call it “Laser touch” and it’s been on a bucket-load of their consumer level camcorders over the last two or three years… it SUCKED ASS as far as usability goes. 

  • Miha Feuš

    Damn. Before I started this project (nearly two years ago) I literally put the Internet upside-down to check if something like this already existed. Don’t know how I missed this one. 

    Well, the usability depends upon the whole interface not just the input method. But yes, I have seen a youtube video of the JVC UI and I get your point. 

  • Miha Feuš

    I know I should have pushed it a bit further but that was not the point of this project. On the other hand it’s hard to change the icons to which users are already accustomed to.

  • BluntNate

    yeah, sorry to bust your bubble Miha. I agree, your UI design *seems* to be better than what JVC teamed up with the panel, however I rather suspect that they’ll have a PATENT or two covering the “laser touch” concept which might effectively torpedo your hopes to get your design concept into the marketplace.

  • Hennebry

    I found this video to be a little bit confusing in terms of how it is going to make the entire process a lot easier, but I have faith that you can pull off just about anything you dream of and work at!  Keep it up.  Nothing worth having ever came easy :)

  • Ranhoff

    I guess I would rather have people take the time to read their manual and learn the process of photography rather than make it simpler for them.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    And still, Miha, you will always have your awesome accent!

  • Dnguyen

    ISO, Shutter, Aperture… Any questions?

  • Miha Feuš

    It was never my intention to patent it as this was my graduation project. But the whole UI could as well work on a normal touchscreen. 

  • Miha Feuš

    Thanks :)
    I have been trying to hide it, but it’s hard when you record the whole audio track at once.

  • Miha Feuš

    I would rather have people focus on the process of photography without them ever having to read the manual. 

  • Aus_Guy

    This guy is smart. Good on him for dedicating his time and money into this project. I think it has great market potential. As a camera salesman to the lower end, I see a lot of older people confused as hell about all the functions on their cameras. They want simplicity and this offers it to them. Well done.

  • Max Hodges

    I guess Miha Feuš has never been to Japan. This kind of interface is quite common on all new compact digital cameras.

  • Gordon Andersson

    You should look att the Samsung NV10, that camera used two “touchpanels” for the user interface.

  • Miha Feuš

    Nope, Miha has never been to Japan. Well, I posted the first videos about this project more than a year ago, coincidence?  ;)
    By the time I started this project no similar interfaces existed.

    Could you give me some examples?

  • Dennis Marciniak

    Camera UIs are absolutely brutal and this definitely helps. It’d be nice to assign the existing buttons to “quick functions” – for example, you can set the “print” button to exp. lock, and the playback button as focus lock, etc. That way each user can set up the camera to their tailored needs. 

    I know many cameras haves these features, but if you can tap a playback button on screen, then the buttoned version of it becomes fairly useless and can be reassigned to a function that can be of use. This would help eliminate overall task time which I believe is the goal? It would also give a more positive response to the user experience which is always a plus.

    I’m sure you’ve thought about this, and some of this technology already exists.. but it just makes sense.

  • Jason

    Yeah, I’ve a low end JVC camcorder with something like that, but its interface is pretty unusable as it’s very inaccurate. In that case it would have been better to have had buttons.

  • Zetoun

    today theres only 2 kind of people :
    non pro : they take photo with their iphone /mobile phone with a easy an intuitive interface
    pro : they love to have lots of buttons ,no menus,no hierarchy , only a direct access to each function of the camera

  • Fred

    Miha (seeing as you seem to be reading comments here)
    I appreciate your (excellent) design is about user interface, but this is allied to that:
    If you interviewed and surveyed people about features they like / use or not, “Which?” magazine in UK recently surveyed peopl and this was one of the top gripes.  I guess you didn’t survey too many older people who need glasses for short sight. The design should work so that screen is on for menus etc but when eye at optical viewfinder it switches off, and then back on again to show the picture once it has been taken.

  • Miha Feuš

    My first intention was to make a camera for everyone, but my mentor
    advised me to pick an age target group. I picked the target group from
    20 to 35 years old. I did not cover this in the video but the
    icon/target area size for functions can be adjusted (make bigger for
    bigger fingers/sight problems, smaller for having more functions at

    This camera does not have an optical viewfinder.

    Thank you for this information.