Capacitive Floor Touch

SensFloor, a large-area sensor system, is based on a textile underlay with a thickness of only 2mm. The sensor system has four integrated radio modules and 32 proximity sensors per square meter. Whenever a person walks across the floor, sensor signals are sent to a control unit and various different types of events are identified: The sensor system differentiates between a person standing or lying on the floor and determines the direction and velocity of movements. Static signal detection and self-test capability are important features for security applications.

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Interactive Projection Mapping

Projecting onto buildings has become a somehow common thing. I have never seen it combined with interactivity and data visualization though.

Come to your Census[spinifexgroup.com] was developed by Spinifex for the occasion of Vivid Sydney, a spectacular festival around the theme of light which happened about one month ago.

The installation consisted of 3 different parts that visualized several datasets from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The main interactive projection mapping showed data like Age & Gender, Country of Birth, Mode of Transport and Occupation of every postcode in Australia, which then could be interactively steered from a multitouch table in front of it. Another projection mapping displayed a normal infographics-based animation, while several interactive kiosks offered access to the ABS Spotlight website, an infographic story-tellingw website that describes several census statistics from a personal perspective.

[via infosthetics.com|

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Projecting Desk Lamp Shares Workspace

Microsoft Research shows a very simple but compelling way to share your physical local desktop with a remote one.

The project called IllumiShare integrated a camera and a small projector into a desk lamp. This device allows to overlay the image captured from a remote desktop over your own as a projection.

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A Touch Screen with Texture

Touch screens are ubiquitous today. But a common complaint is that the smooth surface just doesn’t feel as good to use as a physical keypad. While some touch-screen devices use mechanical vibrations to enhance users’ experiences of virtual keypads, the approach isn’t widely used, mainly because mechanical vibrations are difficult to implement well, and they often make the entire device buzz in your hand, instead of just a particular spot on the screen.

Now, engineers from three different groups are proposing a type of tactile feedback that they believe will be more popular than mechanical buzzing. Called electrovibration, the technique uses electrical charges to simulate the feeling of localized vibration and friction, providing touch-screen textures that are impossible to simulate using mechanical actuators.

Their touch panel is made of transparent electrodes on a glass plate coated with an insulating layer. By applying a periodic voltage to the electrodes via connections used for sensing a finger’s position on the screen, the researchers were able to effectively induce a charge in a finger dragged along the surface. By changing the amplitude and frequency of the applied voltage, the surface can be made to feel as though it is bumpy, rough, sticky, or vibrating. The major difference is the specially designed control circuit that produces the sensations.

A Finnish company called Senseg has implemented electrovibration in touch screens and closed deals with three companies to incorporate the technology into products.

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Touchscreen with Texture

Electrovibration could make for a better sensory experience on a smooth touch surface.

Touch screens are ubiquitous today. But a common complaint is that the smooth surface just doesn’t feel as good to use as a physical keypad. While some touch-screen devices use mechanical vibrations to enhance users’ experiences of virtual keypads, the approach isn’t widely used, mainly because mechanical vibrations are difficult to implement well, and they often make the entire device buzz in your hand, instead of just a particular spot on the screen.

Now, engineers from three different groups are proposing a type of tactile feedback that they believe will be more popular than mechanical buzzing. Called electrovibration, the technique uses electrical charges to simulate the feeling of localized vibration and friction, providing touch-screen textures that are impossible to simulate using mechanical actuators.

[via Technology Review]

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