There was a time when there used to be the keypad phones and even the computers were operated through keyboards. Later the touch screens came into the picture and are being used increasingly in mobile phones, PC tablets etc. People find it easy to work on the touch screen than the keypad on which they are used to press the keys with their fingers, while with touch screens, they are obliged to do the work with just the touch of the fingers.
There have been various improvements and many features have been added to touch screen technology on a regular basis like multi touch sensing, 3D displays etc.
Now the touch screen have been featured with the new revolutionary technology i.e., elastic touch screen.
The elastic touch screen is flexible enough to be stretched, pinch and poke, as it will adjust its shape accordingly. The screen has been designed by the MIT’s Media Lab experts Dhairya Dand and Rob Hemsley. They called the screen as ‘Obake’, named after a shape shifting spirit of Japanese myth.
The screen is made up of an elastic rubber sheet laid over a set of actuators. A camera built from Kinect projector projects the images onto the sheet. When you try to stretch or pull the display, the laid cameras detect your movements and govern the linear actuators to manipulate the flexible surface accordingly. The touch screen then takes the corresponding shape accordingly.
So if you are pulling the display with your fingers, the depth cameras will detect your pulling action, measure the corresponding parameters and will govern the actuators to project the geometry of the screen as if you are pulling it. The screen will appear depressed if you press the display. It will create the resistance if you push the display inward rather than outward. In addition it will sense the friction if you rub on the surface. The screen provides the user a 3D effect making the working experience more profound. Even it can sense the multiple gestures at the same time. So if you pull one section and push the another section of the display, Obake will recognize you.
The effort is simply to provide the user 3D effect while working on the touch screen. Dhairya and Rob have called it 2.5 display. The variety of features of this technology is dedicated to gesture control. The gestures being captured by the depth camera. The events of point, drag and click have been replaced by touch, drag and tap.
The screen may not be expected to be integrated with smart phones, since the actuators used are relatively large. But the positive note of this technology is expected to be in the mapping of certain games or new games may be delivered under the application of this elastic touch screen.