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Creating malleable interactive surfaces using liquid displacement sensing

Creating malleable interactive surfaces using liquid displacement sensing,10.1109/TABLETOP.2008.4660199,Otmar Hilliges,David Kim,Shahram Izadi

Creating malleable interactive surfaces using liquid displacement sensing   (Citations: 3)
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We present a new approach for rapidly prototyping multi-touch and object sensing surfaces. It works by liquid displacement inside a malleable projection surface. The system provides both touch and pressure information and a distinct organic quality when touched. The system is easy to build and produces a clean signal revealing multiple fingers, whole hands and other object outlines that can be processed using computer vision techniques. This approach provides an easy mechanism to build interactive surfaces, requiring no infrared edge lighting or soldering. In this paper we provide an overview of the approach, some of its unique capabilities, and uncover some of the tradeoffs between viscosity of liquid, air pressure, surface malleability and the volume of liquid used. Our aim is to allow practitioners - from DIY enthusiasts to researchers - to build and experiment with such systems more readily. 1. Introduction Interactive tabletops afford more direct ways to interact with the digital, incorporating multi-touch input and even tangible elements into the interface. Such systems have captured the interest of both researchers and DIY enthusiasts alike, leading to many experimenting with their own tabletop systems. Sensing on these surfaces is non-trivial and many different approaches have been suggested over the years (a more detailed overview is provided later in our related work). In this paper we describe a new technique for rapidly prototyping multi-touch and object sensing surfaces, which carries some unique properties when compared to existing approaches. It works by liquid displacement inside a malleable projection surface. A latex pouch is filled with a mixture of water and black ink. The pouch serves both as projection screen and transducer for user input. The black liquid hides the white latex surface from the camera when nothing touches the surface. Touching objects displace the liquid and press the latex onto an acrylic or glass plate placed underneath the surface. This reveals the shape of the touching object in bright white to a camera mounted behind the surface. This provides both touch and pressure information and a distinct organic quality when touched. The system is easy to build and produces an extremely clean signal revealing multiple fingers, whole hands and objects that can be processed using computer vision techniques. This approach provides an even easier mechanism to build interactive surfaces than techniques such as frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR) (3), requiring no Infrared (IR) lighting, no mounting of LEDs, and no soldering to build. In this paper we provide an overview of the technique, some of its unique capabilities, and uncover some of the tradeoffs between viscosity of liquid, surface malleability, air pressure and the volume of liquid used. Our aim is to allow practitioners to build and experiment with such systems more readily.
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