World’s First Touchscreen Made Out Of Ice. Totally Necessary.

Entertainment Editor
11.23.10 3 Comments

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.

[via Make, Gizmag, and NewScientist]

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