Here comes an other exciting invention,a touch screen that is flexible into which one can literally sink fingers.Present day touch screens offer a 2D experience,but by combining touch screen and 3-D displays,MIT Media Lab’s Dhairya Dand and Rob Hemsley have designed a new touch screen that is elastic in nature.
Its named after a shape-shifting spirit of Japanese myth,Obake and it consists of a flexible rubber sheet,set of actuators,all of which sits under a camera.It can project images onto the sheet from a kinect projector and will be able to accurately measure the depth of the pokes and stretches made on the screen.
Lots of creative, interactive conventional touchscreen designs have come and gone over the years, and the most common thing they all share is that they had flat surface.They seem to be 3D,but still have a hard and flat screen.But the Obake touch screen design takes a different approach and is dubbed to revolutionize all other touchscreens.
With this touch screen,one can create mountains pulling them out of the screen, draw rivers with fingers and can elevate an entire terrain to see a cut section view.In short,it explores and lets you sense what it would be like if you poke,pull,twist,push and stretch your data between your fingers.
This innovative data manipulator looks similar to a drum head and by pulling/pushing on the silicon surface, the user can navigate through the projected image and the kinect sensors can track the layer.However,an array of linear actuators which are present underneath the surface are used to maintain the shapes even when the user stops handling the screen.
The research team also came with new gestures to suit the touchscreen’s new abilities which include “intrude”,“extrude”,and “S bend” which involves pulling in one area and pushing in another simultaneously and also “Stitch” is another way of touch, where two points are pulled out and stretched together, linking data.It will move according to the actions performed on it.
Although it is not the first time that touchscreen technology tries to escape from two-dimensions,this creation, a 2.5D screen is considered to be the most complex.Inspired from this innovative development,many companies like Senseg are now working on the sensation of touch.
Thus,this Obake technology turns the virtual 3D realm into reality and opens up a world of opportunities.Its still a working prototype model and there is no announcement on when it might ever cross over into a commercial product.