Nokia researchers have built a computer touchscreen using a block of ice. The researchers say the screen is a step toward a world in which all sorts of surfaces can have computing capabilities.
Nokia's Antti Virolainen says the team used digital projection technology to make the ice block interactive. The ice screen uses rear-diffused illumination, which was first developed by Microsoft in its table-based Surface touchscreen. The technology works with a near-infrared light source and near-red cameras. Users place a hand on the ice, which reflects the light toward the cameras and sends a signal to a nearby personal computer that analyzes the hand's position, size, and motion. The PC is linked to a projector, which projects imagery under the user's hand.
"New forms of interaction, sensing, and content delivery for future mobile devices could come out of it," says Nokia's Jyri Huopaniemi.
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