Feeds

Japanese boffins make a splash with bath-based touchscreen

Break the water's surface with something round to create stimulus

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Boffins in Japan have managed to eliminate one of the few remaining downtime havens in our always-on 21st century lives, by inventing a touch-screen display for the bath.

Developed by researchers at the University of Electro-Communications’ Koike Lab, the AquaTop uses a Kinect to detect movement and user interaction with an image projected on the bathwater’s surface from an overhead device, according to DigInfoTV.

Poking up a finger from underneath the water’s surface has the same effect as placing a digit on a regular touchscreen display, allowing the user to move and object about wherever their finger goes.

In a similar way, two fingers will enable the user to enlarge, shrink or rotate an object, while pulling five fingers through the water can be used to delete or pause, according to the university’s Yasushi Matoba.

“One gesture I think is especially unique to fluid displays is, you can scoop up an object along with water, and drag and drop it," he explained.

"I think even young children can understand this, just by looking at it, without any explanation in words. If I say, ‘put something in this box’, ordinarily you'd pick an object up and drop it in. Here, you can do the same thing on this water surface, by scooping something up with both hands and dropping it over a folder.”

The AquaTop is also being developed to let users play video games while in the bath – a use case with possibly the greatest commercial potential.

A speaker built in the bath could be used to make the water surface spray up and even to give rather dubious sounding “tactile stimulus” to the user, said Matoba.

“Until now, video games haven't made people feel pain, right? Even with haptic feedback, all that happens is the controller vibrates,” he said.

“But with this system, it might be possible to give a tactile stimulus to any part of the body." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.