As we enter an age where traditional input devices (mice, keyboards) are becoming increasingly antiquated, touchscreens and voice-command systems such as Siri are the evolutionary replacements in the here and now. Pushing things along further are motion-sensing natural user interfaces such as the Kinect, and now, a new entry from Carnegie Mellon University, the OmniTouch.
Packing a short-range depth camera and a pico projector, the OmniTouch is a wearable device that projects a graphical user interface onto any surface—whether it be a part of your body, a desk, or a wall—and allows users to interact with it via the camera’s sensor, a la the Kinect. Multiple interfaces can be created, so, for instance, one can project a color palette onto their palm and paint with a finger upon a wall.
The technology isn’t the first of its kind, as a similarly mobile design publicly debuted a few years back at TED. However, the OmniTouch gives hope that a market-ready solution is looming fast.