Science fiction movies are becoming closer to reality; or rather reality is catching up with science fiction.
Disney Research is developing a new technology called Touché that uses your body and other objects as
in place of a touch screen.
The technology is still in the development phase, but a video demonstrates its ability to sense different
degrees of touch and different body movements to allow the user to interact with various devices and
For instance, an MP3 player could conceivably come with no buttons or controls. Instead, the user may
wear a device around the wrist or other part of their body and move their hands in a certain manner to
control the MP3 player. Put your finger up to your mouth in a shushing motion to mute it, or tap your
finger on your palm to move to the next song.
But the technology is not limited to such devices. The video demonstrates how the touch technology
could be used to display different message on one’s office door based on how they touch or grip the
doorknob. Lightly close the door with one finger on the doorknob, and a message saying ‘Back in 5’
displays. Grip the doorknob when closing it, and a message saying ‘Gone for the Day’ is displayed. Lightly
tap the doorknob from inside the office, and a ‘Do Not Disturb’ message displays.
The video displayed other potential uses including an interactive couch that turns on the TV when sitting
down, dims the lights when lying back, and eventually shuts off the lights and TV if the user falls asleep.
Food training is also demonstrated to teach children the correct utensil for eating cereal (i.e. a spoon vs.
The technology is sure to create significant buzz in technology circles and among enthusiasts.
Technology newsgroups on Usenet will surely see a discussion of the new touch capability spark given
the history of the Usenet as prime grounds for discussing and announcing new technologies.