Multitouch Using Water


[Taichi Inoue] is back again, this time with a multitouch system that uses water as the touch surface.  The setup consists of a tank of water placed atop an LCD, a lamp, and a web cam. The web cam pics up the light that is reflected when something breaks the surface of the water. It is, as far as the computer is concerned, no different than the blob recognition we see with many of the home made multitouch systems. Mixed with his Yukikaze, this guy might end up with the most relaxing computer system in the world.

[via Makezine]

17 thoughts on “Multitouch Using Water

  1. Lol HAD read my mind! I am building the webcam picture frame multi-touch this afternoon with a friend :) This is so very cool as well! Good work Taichi! I guess this is next weekend’s project :)

    While we are here, can anyone suggest a pretty easy method of getting usb wirelessly to the HTPC? I am putting the webcam mouse thingy in the coffee table and would rather not run usb extenders if possible. I know it is a simple duh problem to must of you, so give me some NON-arduino/STAMP or Xbee suggestions please. I may just end up trying it out with a bluetooth webcam my friend has, but have no idea how well this will work. Thanks for any ideas :)

  2. It is worth noting that, from the project page, this interface is not currently capable of multi-touch. It says he is still trying to implement that.

    I think the most interesting bit about this project is the fact that it can detect movement in 3D, meaning it can not only do X and Y coordinates, but the depth your finger is in the water. This could allow for some interesting applications that detect “pressure”, such as a drawing program that would make the lines thicker the harder you “pushed” into the water.

    A lot more water than I expected though…that looks to be the size of a small fish tank.

  3. Next cool step would be something like a gelatin surface or something similarly soft to tap against, perhaps with a layer of Saran rap across the top for cleanliness. Just not sure how well the light would pass through it all.

  4. I dunno what video you guys were watching but this is clearly just a touch interface, I see no multi-touch here.

    Also, is it just me or did the mouse cursor seem WAAAAY off from where he was actually touching… like he was compensating for it manually.

    Still it’s kind of neat, but I can’t not be critical of the fact that it’s unfinished (ex: needs calibration of some sort) and that it’s mislabeled as being multi-touch when it clearly isn’t.

  5. Wireless USB camera, blue- duh lol.
    We got everything up and running after fudging with room light levels and water dye color and have taken it a step further.
    Pee-mouse. Although the privacy issues are abounding, you can control this (not too accurately) with a stream of colored water and the proper color of dye in the basin (tannish in color). We tried it with a water bottle with a squirt nozzle and did get it to track it. This is completely useless outside of urinal video games, but I thought I’d share my update on tinkering with it.

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