The futurist consensus is that someday household surfaces, like kitchen counters and fridge doors, will work like giant iPads, together with Internet-connected interactive touch screens. No, not displays. Entire surfaces will be usable as interactive computers.
It seems like far-fetched, space-age technologies, and pricey, too. And the concept of replacing choice pieces of your home decoration with big screens seems horrible. However, none of that is the case. That is because touch screens don’t need a brand new counter or fridge. It’s possible even today to convert any surface into an interactive touch display using projected camera and light detectors.
This has long been a fundamental characteristic of Microsoft Home, which will be a showcase house constructed to show futuristic thoughts from Microsoft Research.
The Microsoft Home kitchen employs projection screens to beam information and recipes directly onto the surface of the counter top. The dining area pill has games projected onto the surface, as well as step-by-step instructions for crafts.
Even more sophisticated compared to Microsoft’s prototype is its own “Vision” video, which projects into the near future (pun intended) how projector touch screens will function in five to 10 years. A girl builds a product on a bit pill in this scene:
But an overhead projector expands the animation beyond the tablet and onto the desk. Then she does the exact same thing with recipes. (Microsoft really has a patent for this and may even ship the tech this year in another version of its Xbox gaming system.) Her father assesses the contents of the fridge without opening the door, plus a projector touch display.
The material, and even the port, is almost inconsequential. That only requires programmers to write software, which they’ll do once this technology is more prevalent. It’s possible with relatively inexpensive projectors and cameras to turn any household surface into a strong, huge interactive touch display which can be conjured up or dismissed at any time. When it has gone, no tech is observable.
Projection technologies is already here. It’s simply not widely distributed yet. A restaurant in London called Inamo jobs its menu in the ceiling onto the tables, as well as jobs custom “tablecloths.” Diners order in the touch display projected onto the tables. A menu of other choices includes interactive games and also a support for ordering a taxi.
The tech is something of a gimmick, designed to entertain restaurant clients. But in addition, it demonstrates that the feasibility and functionality of such display technology.
Celluon Magic Cube
A widely accessible and affordable gadget called the Celluon Magic Cube projects a red laser keyboard onto any table or desk. When the user taps on the projected keys, the keystrokes are registered on any newish OS X, iOS, Windows, Android or Windows Phone device. Additionally, it works as an invisible “mouse”
You might consider that the Magic Cube to be a basic proof of concept for things to come. It projects only 1 colour and only lines, numbers and letters. The “resolution” of this touch interaction is fairly primitive. Yet it’s a cheap product (just over $100) and utilizes just 1 camera with the projector at the exact same device. Plus it works.
Imagine what will be possible with multiple cameras, no requirement for battery operation and better software.
A company called Ubi Interactive is working on software that utilizes any projector plus Microsoft’s Kinect to get Xbox 360 product to turn any surface into an interactive touch screen. Kinect for Xbox 360 is a low-cost add-in for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system that is usually employed to get in-the-air motion-sensing games.
Ubi’s software employs the Kinect detectors to determine where people are moving, pointing, tapping or swiping on a face, and how that relates to the projected interface. 1 benefit of the program is that it will work with regular, off-the-shelf goods. By way of instance, it will project and control Windows software, which means you’re going to have the ability to project any Windows game or application onto a wall from the box. You’ll also have the ability to use it together with almost any projector. All you’ll need is your Ubi software along with a surface to project onto.
The $149 software is available for preorder.
The Japanese company Fujitsu has done some incredible research with movie projection screens. The most impressive is that a projection product which integrates real-world items. The way it works is that with a very simple gesture a book, magazine page or picture can be scanned and then converted into an electronic version in the exact same region, and at the exact same size as the original.
By way of instance, let’s say your projector screens four electronic bills on the kitchen table, plus you’ve got a newspaper bill that came from the email. Simply by drawing your finger through the newspaper, you could digitize the paper invoice. You could then chuck the paper version and use the electronic one in its place.
Still another use for the technology is to create paper pictures and papers interactive. By way of instance, advertisers could put codes in advertisements; when you put the ad flat on the desk and touch the code, interactive coupons or videos or other information might seem to jump right off the page.
Fujitsu intends to begin selling the item in 2014. Its name and price have not yet been announced.