Gone are the days when bathtub play was restricted to a rubber duck and some shaving cream. It seems even our bathtub water can’t escape the effects of technology. This bathtub touchscreen on the surface of the water changes everything about bathing. Some of us have learned the hard way that baths and technology don’t mix well. You can forget all that when you see this colorful, immersive, interactive touchscreen created in your own bathroom.
It’s geeky and gorgeous. It’s called the AquaTop Display, and according to the creators at Koike Laboratory at UEC Tokyo, “it’s a projection system that uses white water as a screen surface.” Imagine using your fingers as a cursor as you whisk around the surface of the bathtub water. You can watch videos, organize your pictures and even play games.
You would be able to delete content from you computer by grabbing it with a few fingers from beneath the water and pulling it underwater. You could also dump a handful of water (with a video thumbnail projected on top) on the video player to start playing a video. Incredible!
The video below explains how this works in detail. In order to create this display, the user needs to implement a projector and a Kinect (both connected to the same PC). The colors are created by first adding bath salts to the bath water to make it milky white. Then the white water reflects the infrared light that comes from the Kinect depth camera.
It matters whether you grab icons from on top of the water or from beneath the water since each one initiates a different action. This touchscreen system is not something that will be mass-produced of course. It was simply created to show that today’s interactive technology can exist in the most unexpected places, like in your bathtub water. Fascinating!