Kinect used to create a touchscreen on water

AquaTop Display

Touchscreen technology isn’t new, and probably isn’t going to blow anyone way considering some of the technologies that have popped up as of late. But if I were to tell you that a Japanese university has developed a prototype of a system that can turn the liquid surface of your bath into a touchscreen – would that grab your attention?

It should.

Researchers at Koike Laboratory at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications have developed a display system that they are calling the AquaTop Display, which turns water into a touch-pad display using a projector, an Xbox Kinect 3D depth camera, a waterproof speaker, and a 600mm x 900mm x 250mm square plastic water tank.

Images are projected onto the surface of the water, which is made opaque with bath salts in order to provide better contrast and reflect the infrared light emitted by a Kinect camera. The Kinect tracks the position of the fingers, whether they are above the surface, touching the surface, or poking out from beneath the surface. The waterproof speaker is attached to the bottom of the square water tank to enhance gaming and video playback capabilities, and all three components are connected with a master control PC.

The system allows users to drag photos with one finger, change the size of a photo with two fingers, and delete photos with three fingers. It also allows the user to watch a movie or view photos by scooping the icon on the surface of the water. With this capability, a user could splash or create a wave and watch icons (or photos, videos), disappear with the wave. Users can also sink an application into the water to delete it.

Plans for commercialization of the AquaTop are not mentioned on the website, but I think the major point here may be to illustrate the capabilities and potential of the Kinect and various user interfaces that it may create.

Webcasts

Upcoming Webcasts

An update on USB3 Vision

This presentation,  sponsored by Point Grey, Matrox Imaging, and Ximea GmbH., will cover system design issues related to USB3 Vision, and will integrate real-world examples to facilitate under...

Choosing and testing smart cameras for your application

This webcast will guide viewers in the selection of smart camera hardware for applications such as inspection and verification, covering various functions and common features.

March 25, 2014

Food inspection from farm to table

The webcast will use actual examples--including long-term academic research and industrial applications--to illustrate and to elaborate the future perspective of R&D in this field. Interactive ...
March 11, 2014

Automotive parts inspection evolves with vision

This webcast, sponsored by Cognex Corporation, Matrox Imaging, Omron Electronics, and Point Grey will identify the technologies and setup requirements, including the system specifications nece...
February 18, 2014

Archives

Click here to view archived Vision Systems Design articles