R&D people who keep working hard to develop the best user interface for connected and wearable devices of the future have so far tried almost every technology including voice navigation, companion devices, projection etc.. In terms of convenience though, Metaio has seemingly come up with the most viable solution.
A global leader in augmented reality research and technology, Munich-based company announced an astonishing new way that will potentially allow us transform the function of almost every object around us by just ‘touching’ it. The pioneering ‘Thermal Touch’ technology combines thermal imaging with AR and turns the tangible world around you into a giant and multi-dimensional touch screen.
Thermal Touch is based on the idea of recognizing, and assigning tasks to, the heat signatures left on objects by fingers. Consisting of an infrared and standard camera working together and running on a tablet PC, the prototype registers the heat signatures and then lets the user to interact with a digital content assigned to the signatures through Metaio’s AR software.
For example, a plain coffee table can turn to a virtual chess board through your Google Glass and a thermal camera integrated to it will give you the chess pieces which you may move just by touching and dragging the virtual image of it on the surface. Or you can just push directions to your device simply by touching a static map in a shopping mall, building complex or airport.
Metaio CTO Peter Meier claims that everyone is talking about wearable computing eyewear like Google Glass but no one is talking about the best way to actually use them. He says the need for a natural, convenient interface to navigate the technology of tomorrow has led them create ‘Thermal Touch’.”
‘Thermal Touch’ is a prototype though, far from being for everyday use for the moment. Metaio released the demo to let us know on the possibilities of computer vision through the new technology.
The announcement also says that the prototype will be displayed at the 2014 Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, May 27-29. Those who may not be able to make it there may find the promo video below.