Touchlight is new interactive display technology developed by researcher Andy Wilson from Microsoft Research. The Touchlight technology was presented at the SIGGRAPH 2005 Emerging Technologies venue and focuses on using different surfaces as alternative computer interfaces.
The technical implementation of Touchlight consists of combining a translucent holographic film projection material and computer vision techniques. Two infrared video cameras, one still camera, and an infrared illuminator are mounted behind the projection material. Alignment of the output images of the two video cameras combined with image processing techniques enables the user to interact with the screen. The image becomes bright where the user’s hands are touching or nearly touching the screen, thereby enabling the user to draw light across the surface of the screen with his hands.
The characteristics of the projection material that constitutes the screen make it possible to project onto the material and see through it at the same time. Because of the transparency of the screen, it is possible to use the digital still camera behind the screen to capture a high resolution picture of an object placed on the surface. Optical flow techniques are then used to enable the user to interact with the picture in a natural and fluid way, e.g. rotate and scale the picture by merely touching and pulling the image.
Check out the explanatory video of Touchlight and a presentation of Touchlight at the Microsoft Research’s faculty summit.
Related projects: The Cabinet, Natural Interaction, The Multi-Touch Sensing Through FTIR Display, tabulaTouch and Tangent.
|Touchlight enables you to draw light across the surface of the screen with your hands.||Optical flow techniques make it possible to rotate and scale the high resolution picture by merely touching and pulling the image.|
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