donderdag 7 augustus 2014

Transwall is a transparent, 2-sided touchscreen display.

So you’ve got a touchscreen on your phone, but you can only touch one side of it. That’s pretty boring, right? A team of researchers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have gone beyond a simple touchscreen and created a clear wall that can respond to touches on both sides simultaneously. Not only that, but the input from the two sides can interact in a variety of ways.

The so-called Transwall is currently mounted to a large T-shaped frame that houses a small square of the material. Of course, any real production version of this system would be an actual wall rather than a window like this prototype. The touch surfaces are standard sheets of plexiglass, but behind each one is an IR touch sensor that detects when someone is interacting with the plexiglass. Sandwiched in the middle is a holographic film that allows images to be projected on the wall.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the lack of traditional screen technology in the design. How can this be a display without some pixels? The touch interactions detected by the IR layer are sent off to a computer that processes the data and then projects the image on the screen via a pair of projectors mounted on the arms of the T structure. That’s how two people can interact with the wall at the same time.

The computer that’s processing the individual touch input can figure out when the two users are touching the same location and figure that into the resulting image. The demo video shows the colors combining and expanding at each such interaction. The Transwall also has a transducer built in that adds haptic feedback to the experience.

The video produced by KAIST shows a few different demos of the Transwall — mostly messing around with the touch interaction and some games. It’s probably really fun technology to play with, but it might eventually have more serious uses in education, health, and business.

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