Sony PlayStation Vita is a handheld gaming console, which is equipped with two joysticks and a touchscreen on front of the device. What makes it different to other consoles is the multitouch panel located on the back. This allows gamers to interact with the onscreen content while firmly holding the deivce with both hands. Unlike traditional touchscreen interactions the back panel means users can manipulate content without unwanted obstruction from their fingers.

Team and Credits

The concept of backtouch interaction was developed following early research on multitouch sensing by Jun Rekimoto. The team consisting of Ivan Poupyrev, Tatsushi Nashida and Jun Rekimoto investigated the interactions that were possible if each and every surface of consumer electronic devices become multitouch sensitive. The Gummi project which explored interaction scenarios of back touch interaction, was done in collaboration with Carston Schwesig.

Gummi was the first public disclosure of the backtouch interaction concept. Tatsushi Nashida and his team in Sony Corporation worked with Sony Computer Entertainment to incorporate this interaction concept into PS Vita. The product was released in 2012 and is currently in active production.