It now appears pretty clear that touchscreens are the future. Our smartphones have had the tech for years, and now many desktops and laptops and are making touchscreen tech standard as well. But that's only the beginning: Software startup Ubi, in conjunction with Microsoft, has begun selling a system called Ubi Interactive capable of turning any surface into a touchscreen.
The secret behind the idea is Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows motion sensor. With the aid of Ubi’s software, it’s able to tell the difference between you wiggling your fingers near the projected image and you actually touching it. It supports familiar smartphone and tablet multi-finger gestures such as pinching, zooming, swiping and tapping.
Aside from the Kinect for Windows sensor, you’ll need a few other pieces of hardware to make the setup work as advertised. Specifically, you’ll need a computer loaded with Ubi’s software and a digital projector.
While the most obvious use for the system is for business presentations, it has plenty of more fun, frivolous uses as well. You could install a projector that lets you check your email directly from your coffee table, or play a 12-foot-by-12-foot game of Angry Birds on your living room wall.
Ubi Interactive is currently available for purchase at prices ranging from $149 for individuals and $1,499 for large businesses. The Kinect for Windows sensor will set you back another $250, and if you don’t have one already, be prepared to spend anywhere between $100 and $1,000 on a digital projector. No one ever said the future would come cheap, I suppose.
For more about how the system works, check out the YouTube video above.