CMU Researchers Create a Multitouch Surface Everywhere


In a joint effort between Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon Human Computer Interaction Institute the creation of a new interface has been born. The new interface is usable on any surface, including notebooks, tables, walls and body parts. The UI is completely multitouch and worn on the shoulder, which will turn any surface you are pointing at into a usable workspace by the combination of a projector and a 3D modeling device similar to the Kinect.

The product is called OmniTouch and functions by the “clicks” of a users finger on any surface as well as the controls that sense the fingers position while hovering a hand over the surface. Unlike a previous venture by Microsoft called ‘Surface’, the project doesn’t require special bulky hardware, minus the small shoulder device the size of a kinect. The project so far is in the works, and with time and some tweaking can be shrunk down and further utilized for a future use.

The researchers have tested the device (video shown below) through drawing and “crosshair” interaction with the system and shows that it can work well on arms and hands. Obviously this is a research project so don’t expect there to be any word of a release date or anything, but the limitless functionality of the device is what is most stunning. The idea that you can call a friend, or type up a document without the need for anything more than just a small projector is a right step in the direction of an awesome future if you ask me.

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Andrew Wilson
Andrew has been poking and prodding computers for 11 years who occasionally writes about Technology and Video Games while working towards getting his Bachelors in Computer Engineering. He is also one of the contributors to the Let's Play's on the site.