Start-Up Demos Touchscreen-Anywhere System

Forget dedicated touchscreens. A start-up called Metaio is now demonstrating an augmented-reality system that essentially turns any surface into a touchscreen.

The system utilizes regular and infrared cameras to detect heat left behind by touching a surface -- virtually any surface -- and integrating that with augmented reality to create a touch-sensitive surface.

This Thermal Touch interface provides a way for augmented reality users to interact with real-world surfaces, such as viewing a virtual chess board on a table and then, through Thermal Touch, actually reaching out and "moving" a virtual chess piece with your hand.

Virtual Log-Ons

While other kinds of systems allow for tracking in space without this kind of technology, this system is being touted by Metaio as more precise in tracking a human heat signature.

Applications include virtual log-ons that only a user can see and use, live links in paper publications, or educational print publications that can show media when hotspots are touched -- all utilizing virtual touch and augmented reality viewers.

To enable this Thermal Touch system, an infrared camera, a visible light camera and a processing unit are required, plus an augmented reality viewer for completing the interactive setup. The company said the technology is still in R&D, and expects that it might take five years or more before it starts appearing as sensors in products.

It's conceivable that this kind of technology could be embedded in, say, a future generation of Google Glass, an Oculus virtual reality headset, or even in a smartphone.

Other researchers have also tried to turn the world into one large interface. Two years ago, for instance, Disney Research demonstrated ways to connect an electrostatic signal generator with a user, so that any object or surface in the same electrical field could be modified to create friction, which could generate interface commands.

Kinect, Holographic Displays

There...

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Start-Up Demos Touchscreen-Anywhere System

Forget dedicated touchscreens. A start-up called Metaio is now demonstrating an augmented-reality system that essentially turns any surface into a touchscreen.

The system utilizes regular and infrared cameras to detect heat left behind by touching a surface -- virtually any surface -- and integrating that with augmented reality to create a touch-sensitive surface.

This Thermal Touch interface provides a way for augmented reality users to interact with real-world surfaces, such as viewing a virtual chess board on a table and then, through Thermal Touch, actually reaching out and "moving" a virtual chess piece with your hand.

Virtual Log-Ons

While other kinds of systems allow for tracking in space without this kind of technology, this system is being touted by Metaio as more precise in tracking a human heat signature.

Applications include virtual log-ons that only a user can see and use, live links in paper publications, or educational print publications that can show media when hotspots are touched -- all utilizing virtual touch and augmented reality viewers.

To enable this Thermal Touch system, an infrared camera, a visible light camera and a processing unit are required, plus an augmented reality viewer for completing the interactive setup. The company said the technology is still in R&D, and expects that it might take five years or more before it starts appearing as sensors in products.

It's conceivable that this kind of technology could be embedded in, say, a future generation of Google Glass, an Oculus virtual reality headset, or even in a smartphone.

Other researchers have also tried to turn the world into one large interface. Two years ago, for instance, Disney Research demonstrated ways to connect an electrostatic signal generator with a user, so that any object or surface in the same electrical field could be modified to create friction, which could generate interface commands.

Kinect, Holographic Displays

There...

Comments are closed.