Remember that nifty little “Skinput” interface that researchers at Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University were working on about a year and a half ago? It registered touches made to your skin, allowing you to use your body as an input device – hence its name. Well, it turns out that’s not all CMU and Microsoft were working on. They’re working on a device called “OmniTouch” that projects interfaces onto any surface – and includes multitouch touchscreen capabilities. That’s right, you can dial home on a loaf of bread.
The project is only in the research, proof-of-concept phase, TechCrunch reports, so don’t expect to waltz into a Best Buy and pick up an OmniTouch any time soon. The shoulder-mounted rig includes a pico projector and a 3D scanner to pick up your movements, and it is capable of detecting whether users’ fingers are actually clicking or touching the projected interface or simply hovering over the surface. Not too shabby.
CMU and Microsoft say the technology doesn’t require any special training, expertise, or calibration – it’s basically fire it up and get to work! OmniTouch has already passed tests that show it’s capable of pinpoint crosshair accuracy and drawing on a number of surfaces ranging from hands to books to walls. TechCrunch has an awesome video of the tech up on their site – go check it out!