There have been a lot of creative, interactive touchscreen designs that have come and gone over the years, and one thing they all seem to have in common is that they’re flat. Sometimes they create an illusion, which makes them seem 3D, but they still have a hard, flat screen. This Obake design takes a different approach, and it’s one we haven’t seen before. It explores what it would be like if you could pull, poke, stretch, pinch and twist your data between your fingers.
This is what could be called an elastic touchscreen. When you watch the video below, it’s going to twist your mind inside out. According to Vimeo, you can “create mountains by pulling them out of the screen, draw rivers with your fingers, elevate an entire terrain to see a cut section view.” This unusual yet interesting Obake touchscreen design was conceived by Dhairya Dand and Rob Hemsley of MIT’s Media Lab, and you can see more pictures by clicking over to Dhairya’s website.
When you stretch or pull this touchscreen display, depth cameras track your movements and make the linear actuators manipulate the elastic surface in the same way. This system has a Kinect projector beneath it which projects the images onto the screen. It moves in response to each of your actions. Whether you pinch it, pull it, stretch it, rub it, or whatever, it will move accordingly.
This Obake technology was developed as an interim to the next big thing in touchscreens, which will be a true 3D touchscreen. Right now, 3D touchscreens aren’t really 3D since it’s all an illusion. Dhairya and Rob call Obake a 2.5D screen. If you want to read more about this, there is an in-depth article about it here on Extreme Tech. I wish I could try this for myself!
Obake: Stretchy Elastic Pinchable Interactive Touchscreen Display
Via: [Discovery News]