Meet the TouchWall: A Low Cost Alternative to Microsoft Surface

Microsoft has created a lower cost version of its Microsoft Surface. The TouchWall refers to a system, not a specific product, of converting any surface into a multi-touch computer interface.

The TouchWall system consists of a projector, 3 infrared lasers, 1 infrared camera and a flat surface. Any flat surface will do. In the demonstration, Microsoft used a vertical plexiglass plate as the image plane, with the projector projecting the image from the rear – to eliminate shadows caused by forward projection.

The infrared lasers are positioned at the bottom of the plexiglass screen and through the use of special diffusers, generate an invisible infrared mesh just slightly above the surface of the plexiglass. As you move your finger above the screen, it breaks the infrared mesh, allowing the infrared camera behind the screen to pick up the location of your fingers.

The system works remarkably well and is based on Plex Software run on Windows Vista. Microsoft estimates the cost to be in the hundreds, as opposed to $10,000 for its Microsoft Surface Table Top Computer.

Check out a video of the TouchWall demo below.

[ VIA Crunch Gear ]

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