In a world where mobile devices are fast becoming an integral part of our lives, touchscreens are a norm. Researchers at University of Washington have now created a sensor that can turn any standard LCD into a touchscreen. And apparently, this sensor costs a mere $5!
The sensor was created at the Ubiquitous Computing Lab, University of Washington, and the technology used in it has been named uTouch. When you touch any LCD, your hand creates a certain amount of EMI. The uTouch sensor essentially measures the amount of electromagnetic interference (EMI).
This $5 sensor records the exact amount of that EMI and feeds that information back into a PC to which the LCD is connected. A special software in the PC is able to decipher the recordings and then perform tasks based on the input. The most interesting part is that rather than being simply touchscreen, this sensor enables support for multiple gestures on an LCD.
For instance, you can hover your hand above the screen, push and pull, perform a five-finger touch or a full-hand touch and this sensor will be able to differentiate them and perform accordingly. For now, the sensor performs exceptionally well, providing an average detection rate of 96.4%.
So by using the tiny sensor and the related software and connecting your LCD to a PC, you can turn it into a touchscreen which supports a huge array of gestures. Of course, the research costs were much more than $5, but the researchers hope that creating the sensor commercially wouldn’t cost any more than a mere $5.
Source: University of Washington
Courtesy: Extreme Tech