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Friday, May 11, 2012

The World is a Touch Screen


If you think the touch screen of your tablet is amazing, read on with bated breath. 

Never mind touchscreen phones, tablets and TVs, says Carl Franzen on Talking Points Memo.

Now virtually any material, including liquid water, can instantly become an incredibly sensitive, multi-touch interface thanks to an ingenious new sensory system designed by a scientist from Disney Research in Pittsburgh, PA, and collaborators at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Tokyo, Japan.

The system, called Touché, has already been demonstrated in a number of impressive practical prototypes created by the researchers — from a “smart doorknob” that can sense precisely how it is being gripped and lock or unlock itself accordingly, to a container full of water that can detect when a person’s hand is skimming the surface or completely submerged to even a person’s own body, which can be turned into an input for controlling the volume of a smartphone or other digital music player.

A “sensing couch” using Touché automatically detects when a user is sitting and turns on their TV, then adjusts the room’s lighting when the user reclines, finally turning the TV and lights off if the person falls asleep in front of their TV.


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