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AquaTop display is a touchscreen display for your bath
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AquaTop display is a touchscreen display for your bath

This AquaTop display is a touchscreen display for your bath.

The display is projected onto a bath filled with water mixed with bath salts, and a Kinect is used to detect interaction. It can recognise individual fingers sticking out to of the bath by 1.4 cm or more as well as interactions from above the surface of the water. It is being developed by the Koike Lab. at the University of Electro-Communications.

"This system enables gestures unique to fluid displays. For example, if you point to an object with one finger from below, you can move the object freely. If you point with two fingers, you can enlarge, shrink, or rotate the object. If you use five fingers, and pull them through the water, that gesture can be used as a delete or pause command. 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."

"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. We can't yet use this to do everything that's possible with a mouse, and it's not as easy to use as a mouse. But if we do a bit more development, we think it might lead to a computer that people can see how to use, without reading a manual."

By using the AquaTop display as a game interface, users are given the sense that parts of their body are actually part of the game.

"In this game, your body is immersed in the screen. First, when you stick your finger out from below, the Kinect detects it, and characters are displayed around it. If you withdraw your finger below the surface while moving it around, the motion is detected instantly, and a ball is thrown in the same direction. When the ball hits a jellyfish, the jellyfish explodes. The explosion makes the water surface spray up, which is achieved by a speaker in the water. I think this is something that couldn't be done with previous displays."

"A feature of water is, sound waves don't attenuate in it much. In air, sound waves quickly become weak, but in water, you can hit something with a powerful sound wave. Until now, video games haven't made people feel pain, right? Even with haptic feedback, all that happens is the controller vibrates. But with this system, it might be possible to give a tactile stimulus to any part of the body."

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