Interacting on a soft screen …

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco

We are getting used to touch screens. Various types of technology, overlaid or embedded in the screen, let a computer perceive the points where your fingers are touching the screen surface and respond accordingly.

Researchers are looking at new ways to make hands interaction more seamless and powerful. I just run into one where researchers are exploiting the progress in gesture recognition through a Kinect device observing the changes in a surface made of fabric as the hands and fingers move on it.

Take a look at the clip:

[vimeo 42846180]

The screen is made by fabric (silk) and can be deformed by your hands. As it is shown in the video this makes for quite interesting, and intuitive interactions. A projectors displays images and the computer changes them based on the pressure and movements of the hands and fingers. You see picture and by pressing on a spot you get the image of what is below that surface, be it under the skin of a human body or the underground pipes and plumbing in a city.

As technology progresses expect better and simpler interfaces to become available and along with them expect to slowly change your way to interact with objects and the environment.