Disney Research has put forth its new sensing technology, called Touché, which employs Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing technique that is capable of detecting touch and also recognizes complex configurations of human hands and body while interacting. This technology allows controlling devices by touching parts of their body. Along with sensing hand gestures of the human body, it also applies to everyday objects and liquids, reports HeraldSun.

Demostrating Touche ability in liquid

Demonstrating Touche ability in liquid

Disney Research believes that this innovation could possibly give stiff competition to touchscreens on mobile devices. Touchscreens could be simply replaced by these hand gestures. The new technology developed by Disney Research is capable of sensing human bi-manual hand gestures, sensing human body configuration (e.g. pose), enhancing traditional touch interfaces and sensing interaction with unusual materials (e.g., liquids making everyday objects touch gesture sensitive. It uses a touch sensing board – the sensing circuit monitors the changes in electrical signal passing through objects. There is change in the signal, when it is touched by a conductive material. The sensing electrode, which is attached to the object and a computer can analyze the changing signals in order to identify a specific gesture. The system uses multiple frequencies to distinguish the touch of a single finger, multiple fingers, a full-hand grasp and other touch gestures.

Touché offers new and rich interaction dimensions to conventional touch surfaces by enhancing touch with sensed hand posture. For instance – Touché is capable of sensing the configuration of fingers holding a device and the part of the hand touching could also possibly be inferred, e.g. fingertips or knuckles. However, unlike inanimate physical objects, the human body is highly variable and uncontrolled. So, it is said to be a challenging input device. Moreover, users are highly sensitive to instrumentation and augmentation of their bodies and for a sensing technique to be successful, it has to be minimally invasive. This research has strived to overcome these challenges by exploring remote sensing approaches. It has been able to sidestep much of this complexity by taking advantage of the conductive properties of the body and appropriate the skin as a touch sensitive surface, while being minimally invasive.

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