Disney’s Touche: Taking Touch to the Next Level

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Disney Research (Pittsburgh) has developed a touch control system, called Touche, that not only expands the normal range of touch input, but also allows anything be used as a touch controller. The video demonstration is alternately daffy and fascinating, ranging from negative reinforcement for people who try to eat breakfast cereal with their hands (?!?) to controlling a smart phone with gestures alone. It seems to be a technology in search of a purpose right now, but it has some intriguing possibilities.

What the team has done is is move touch controls from a binary sampling (touch/no-touch) to a new technique called Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing (SFCS), which captures more information. This allows devices to recognize different kinds of gestures, so it can tell things like hand position, pinching, grasping, the number of fingers being used, and so on. More interesting is it’s ability to function with a range of surfaces and objects, including water and the human body.


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  • victor

    Nice… “Analog” touch sensitivity :-) This is going to be great for drawing apps (to measure pen pressure, etc.) and for music apps (to sense “velocity”).

    Anyway, I after watching that video I can’t imagine that Disney isn’t also working on touch-sensitive lederhosen so that we can finally get a truly immersive Schuhplattler experience.

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    We’re certainly going to see it showing up in the parks.

    (And the Biergarten is the best restaurant in Epcot.)