VTT technology turns any surface into a multi-touch display
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a new technology which can be used to turn any flat surface into a multi-touch display. A multi-touch display allows several users to control a digital information system simultaneously by touching the display and moving their hands on the surface of the display. This makes the user interface intuitive and easy to use. The new VTT technology also makes it possible to construct large touch displays for public facilities. Such a display was constructed for the Shanghai Expo 2010.
The new technology utilises computer vision to analyse the images relayed by several video cameras in real time to detect the touch points.
Compared to current solutions, the new technology not only detects the touch points, it also detects the depth of touch. This means that the users are not required to actually touch the screen; they simply need to place their hands in front of it. The new technology also makes it possible to turn any flat surface into a multi-touch display. The technology is scalable, so the size of the touch display is not limited.
The technology has been tested in a standard LCD display, and three large, 2.5 x 1.5-metre touch displays were constructed for the Shanghai Expo 2010. The Shanghai touch displays were constructed in co-operation with Exiformat Oy and Muotohiomo Oy. Muotohiomo was responsible for the content, while Exiformat produced the interactive presentation technology. VTT provided the multi-touch technology. The Shanghai Expo touch displays are used to present a photo show of Finland. Several users can simultaneously move from one picture to another by moving their hands in front of the display.
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