Microsoft labs in the UK has developed a POC LCD screen with multi-touch, infrared and low resolution scanning capabilities. In an article for NewScientist.com, Tom Simonite writes:
Users can interact with ThinSight using two hands. A grid of infrared emitters and detectors sit behind the LCD (Image: Microsoft)
A computer screen that also acts as a two-handed touch interface and a crude infrared camera has been developed by researchers at Microsoft’s labs in the UK.
Users can operate the display with both hands, in a similar manner to the display in the film Minority Report. But this screen can also recognise particular hand gestures as well as objects placed within a centimetre of its surface.
“It can sense much more than fingers, and is essentially a low resolution scanner and camera,” says lead researcher Shahram Izadi. The screen can even communicate wirelessly with other devices nearby using the same infrared technology it uses to see.
The technology – dubbed ThinSight – was developed by adding an extra layer of electronics behind a normal laptop screen. This adds a couple of centimetres to the overall thickness, but completely transforms its abilities (see a video, top right).
The screen “sees” by using a grid of paired infrared sensors and transmitters that sit just behind the backlight of the laptop’s LCD panel. The sensors can form crude images when infrared light bounces off an object (see images, right). This could allow the screen to identify hand gestures or to see objects, and let them interact with onscreen images.
A multi-touch display that can ‘see’ objects too