Researchers at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have developed a new application for touch screen technology that they have termed 'Touché'. It works by recognising the different capacitive properties of body parts and movements, allowing for multiple actions depending on the interaction. They're not limited to phones either.
The first example given is a door knob. Instead of simply being able to open and close a door, the Touché version allows you to lock the door based on a simple pinch. In the video demonstration, the knob is able to recognise four distinct 'gestures'.
The second is how a lounge experience could be altered based on a person's position on a sofa. When upright, the experience is normal, television and lights are at their originally set brightness and volume. However, as a user reclines further into the sofa - suggesting a more relaxed state - the lighting is dimmed. The researchers say this could be taken further, with the furniture registering if a person has fallen asleep, in which case it could turn the lights off completely and switch off, or mute the television.
This might create problems with multiple people in the room, but the technology is still in the conceptual stage.
There are many potential uses for this in our daily lives and thanks to the impressive recognition rate of the touch gestures, there shouldn't be that many hiccups in integrating it.
"In our laboratory experiments, Touché demonstrated recognition rates approaching 100 percent," claims Ivan Poupyrev, senior research scientist at Disney Research in Pittsburgh. "That suggests it could immediately be used to create new and exciting ways for people to interact with objects and the world at large."