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OmniTouch Technology Lets You Turn Any Surface to Touchscreen

A Microsoft funded research team has developed a system which will allow users to turn any area object into a touch screen surface.

A group of researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Interaction Institute have developed a shoulder mounted device capable of projecting touch-sensitive images on any surface, be it on the hand, arm, table, wall or notepad.

The researchers at Microsoft Research Redmond have also developed another device, which lets users interact with their smartphones inside a pocket or a purse.

According to a blog post (opens in new tab), the OmniTouch, which is a wearable system comprising of a pico projector and depth-sensing camera, is capable of turning any surface into a touch screen.

“We wanted to capitalize on the tremendous surface area the real world provides,” said Microsoft researcher Hrvoje Benko.

“The surface area of one hand alone exceeds that of typical smart phones. Tables are an order of magnitude larger than a tablet computer. If we could appropriate these ad hoc surfaces in an on-demand way, we could deliver all of the benefits of mobility while expanding the user’s interactive capability” he explained.

Meanwhile, PocketTouch comprises of a capacitive sensor mounted at the back of a smartphone, which lets people control the device through fabric, without having to remove it from the pocket or purse.

Ravi Mandalia

Ravi Mandalla was ITProPortal's Sub Editor (and a contributing writer) for two years from 2011. Based in Ahmedabad, India, Ravi is now the owner and founder of Parity Media Pvt. Ltd., a news and media company, which specializes in online publishing, technology news and analysis, reviews, web site traffic growth, web site UI. Ravi lists his specialist subjects as: Enterprise, IT, Technology, Gadgets, Business, High Net Worth Individuals, Online Publishing, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, News, Reviews, Audio, Video, and Multi-Media. He has also previously worked as Dy. Manager - IT Security at (n)Code Solutions.