Touch Technology

Multitouch interfaces are becoming increasingly common in computing devices of many kinds, but most still rely on mechanical vibration to create a tactile sensation. New technology from Finnish Senseg, on the other hand, uses small electrical fields on-screen to produce a wide range of subtle sensations without the sound radiation and other unwanted side-effects that physical vibration tends to cause.

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“Soak” uses the Kinect to “grab the topology data of the screen in real-time, which is then translated into a 3-dimensional deformation structure,” designers Hyunwoo Bang and Yunsil Heo tell Co.Design. In other words, when you press your fingertip into the stretchy membrane, the Kinect can sense the change in depth of the screen, which it then sends to Bang and Heo’s software, which generates a visual simulation of ink gently spreading out from the spot you touched. And that, not the 3-D-sensing, was the hard part, according to Bang and Heo: “What was challenging to us in this project was simulating the dying process based on real-world physics,” they say. “The simulation itself includes complex phenomena like capillary smear through the pulps with diffusion and delivery of pigments. What was more, the simulation had to be updated [at HD resolution] at least 60 times per second for its real-time application.”

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This is the curved (!) screen in the reality center of the University of Groningen.
They used six Optitrack v120 slim camera’s which have a good sensitivity for infrared light and 16 cheap infrared emitters (the kind used for security systems) with a total of 1000 LED’s.
The curved screen itself consists of a 3 mm dark acrylic layer, coated with a diffuser on the front. Illumination is from behind using six full hd Barco projectors.
The cameras and the ir-leds are also located behind the screen.

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