Microsoft Research is to launch its latest technology that can turn any surface into a touch screen at a user interface symposium this week in Santa Barbara, California.
Microsoft’s Dubbed Omni Touch is a wearable system that permits multitouch input on any surface. In Microsoft Research’s webpage words, the device can work on “arbitrary, everyday surfaces”.
Hrvoje Benko, a member of Natural Interaction Research group at Microsoft said, “We wanted to capitalize on the tremendous surface area the real world provides.”
The new technology is a combination of laser-based pico projector with depth-sensing camera. The camera is similar to Microsoft’s Kinect camera Xbox360 except that it is altered to work at short range. It is a prototype that has been provided by PrimeSense. Once the camera and projector are calibrated to each other, the user can begin using the device.
The major research challenges involved in the technology are defining the system how fingers look like, the belief that every surface can be a projected surface for touch, and also to detect the touch even when the surface being touched has no sensors, informed Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. scholar at Carnegie Mellon University who participated in the project and also wrote about it.
The device is a consumer friendly system as one does not need to carry a bulky apparatus with it that only a card-carrying head would prefer to carry in public.
The project will be launched during UIST 2012, the 24th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology of the Association for Computing Machinery, being held on October 16-19 in Santa Barbara, California.