Touchscreens have come a long way, with many of Apple’s devices being a benchmark in the capacitive touchscreen department. However, there’s a new technology called ZeroTouch made by Texas A&M University's Interface Ecology Lab which looks quite promising. As you’ll see in the video below, you don’t need a capacitive or a resistive (or any other type) touchscreen to communicate with a system. Rather, any surface can be used for interaction with the system.
What happens behind the scene of the ZeroTouch technology is that many modulated infrared sensors and infrared LEDs project a series of light beams across the screen. Any object that interrupts the beam means that the screen has been touched. Now this interruption of the beams is visualized to reconstruct the visual hull of any objects inside the sensor frame.
No need for screens anymore!
The concept in one way is quite similar to that of a capacitive touchscreen, where any interruption in a pre-set electrostatic field is interpreted as some kind of interaction with the screen.
To sum it all up, this new technology looks futuristic and now that it has been demonstrated as well, it looks like computer systems are all set to touch you one day!