Feels good man.
Some clever Finns at the Nokia Research Center have built an interactive touchscreen into a 2 meter by 1.5 meter by one-fourth meter wall of ice. They retrieved the ice from a river (sorcery!) then cut it with a chainsaw and smoothed down the surface with a heat gun. They then pointed a near-infrared light at the back of the ice, while near-infrared cameras attached to a computer picked up any reflected light from hands touching the ice. The computer then read the position of the hand and signaled a digital projector to display images at the hand (images of flames for example).
“This was a playful experiment, but one that we think showed interactive computing interfaces can now be built anywhere,” says Jyri Huopaniemi at Nokia’s research lab in Tampere, whose Context-Aware Social Media team built the touchscreen, dubbed Ubice, or ubiquitous ice. [NewScientist]
They were worried the heat from the projector might melt the ice, but the 5 °F (-15 °C) outdoor temperature kept it intact. Only 5 °F? That’s jean shorts weather here. Ah, jorts and a Hawkeyes game. Can’t go wrong.