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Microsoft can make any surface a touch-screen

A new technology is being developed called the omni touch which is capable of transforming any everyday surface to a touch screen

With technology moving so fast we could not even settle with a device which we can be used for long time and relate the term “Up to Date” with it. From the desktop we have moved to the world of Laptops then from there we moved further into a world of Tablets with touch screens.

Now a new touch screen developed called the OmniTouch. It is a wearable system that allows multitouch input on everyday surfaces according to a description provided by Microsoft Research Web page. And it’s absolutely true what I have written, on ‘everyday surfaces’ like paper or hand.

The technology combines a laser-based pico projector and depth-sensing camera. This device is modified to work on at short range. The camera is even said to be a prototype provided by PrimeSense. The camera and the projector are calibrated to each other.

According to Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. Student at Carnegie Mellon University (who participated in the project) - the key challenges for the researchers was while defining the system what a finger looks like. The notion that any surface is potentially a projected surface for touch interaction and detecting touch when the surface is being touched contains no sensors.

The device is also presumed to be consumer friendly as the system wouldn’t require a bulky apparatus that only a card-carrying propeller-head would be bold enough to wear in public.

This project has been unveiled during the UIST 2012, the Association for Computing Machinery's 24th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, held between 16 to 19th of October in Santa Barbara, California.


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Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2011-10-20 (Update: 2012-05-26)