Windows Sensor “any surface touch screen” goes on sale

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Microsoft has released software for the Kinect system that allows developers to create interactive “display anywhere” touch screens. This allows a projector or other device to display the computer or game machine’s output onto a wall or any other flat surface so that, using the Kinect, users can then interact with the projection.

The prototype was created by a startup called Ubi, which has since partnered with Microsoft on the project. It is now released for order by customers interested and has more than fifty organizations utilizing it in development at launch.

“We want human collaboration and information to be just one finger touch away, no matter where you are,” Ubi co-founder and CEO Anup Chathoth wrote in a blog post. “By making it possible to turn any surface into a touch screen, we eliminate the need for screen hardware and thereby reduce the cost and extend the possibilities of enabling interactive displays in places where they were not previously feasible — such as on walls in public spaces.”

The demonstration video for the Ubi product (see it here) showcases it projecting onto a pane of glass, behind which a Kinect device watches the users interact with the screen and reacts to their gestures and movements.

The Kinect’s unique 3D mapping allows it to tell the difference between gestures like a point versus a “click”, a wave rather than a “swipe”, etc. To build your own system utilizing this new technology, you’ll need a computer with the Kinect for Windows sensor ($250), a projector, and a version of the Ubi software (which starts at $149).

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