Feature

How to turn anything into a touch screen

This "cheap, simple" method may be available sooner than you think

"How would you like a toy, steering wheel, wall, or electric guitar with a touch pad?" said Rachel Metz at Technology Review. Most touch screens today are flat, because it can be tricky to add touch responsiveness to bumpy or irregular surfaces. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they have created a "cheap, simple" way to add a touch pad to everyday objects "by spraying them with conductive paint, adding electrodes, and computing where you press on them."

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"191967","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"336","style":"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"600"}}]](Courtesy image)

In a demo video, the researchers showed how the technique, called Electrick, could let you control a room light. Tapping an "Electrick-ified" area of the wall turns the light on and off and sliding a finger dims the bulb. A sprayed steering wheel was also able to "detect the presence of hands and gestures." Yang Zhang, the graduate student who led the project, hopes to make Electrick into a commercial product after further testing.

Check it out:

Recommended

Fighting questions from within at Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg.
Feature

Fighting questions from within at Facebook

Facebook reportedly responding to bad press by promoting Facebook on Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg
No News is Good News

Facebook reportedly responding to bad press by promoting Facebook on Facebook

Huge hack of web services provider Epik could be 'Rosetta Stone to the far-right'
Anti-fascist protesters
'embarrassment of riches'

Huge hack of web services provider Epik could be 'Rosetta Stone to the far-right'

Facebook's monstrous empire
The earth.
Picture of Ryan CooperRyan Cooper

Facebook's monstrous empire

Most Popular

Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman almost make it through interview without awkwardness
Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman
Last Night on Late Night

Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman almost make it through interview without awkwardness

7 cartoons about America's vaccine fights
Editorial Cartoon.
Feature

7 cartoons about America's vaccine fights

Democrats are governing like Republicans
A donkey.
Picture of W. James Antle IIIW. James Antle III

Democrats are governing like Republicans