Think that 9.7-inch iPad display is all the touchscreen you need? Portuguese company Displax would like to challenge that notion. The company says it is bringing to market a multitouch capable, super-thin polymer "skin" that can be applied to any material -- flat, curved, opaque, transparent, you name it -- creating a digital muli-touch surface virtually anywhere, from a wristband to a desktop to a pane of clear glass.
Based on capacitive technology used in other higher-end touchscreen devices, Displax claims its product will work on large displays (50 inches or larger) and track up to 16 fingers through a grid of nanowires, making it ideal for public places where more than one person is seeking information from an interactive display at the same time. The company expects it will be able to track even more individual touch points as the technology matures.Even cooler: not only is the sensor sensitive to touch, but Displax claims that it can even sense when you blow on it. We're not sure what the future applications are for such technology, but we're tickled that it's possible.
Displax aims to market the technology in July of this year primarily for displays, ranging from 7 inches diagonal on the low end to 3 meters at the top end. As a stand-alone product, the multitouch sensor tech is of limited use, but given the right deals with display manufacturers and the like, it could be flipped into some very cool devices (aside from plastering this on basic LCD screens, interactive tabletop displays come to mind).
The company plans to ship the product with a free applications bundle that will allow customers to display media streams, access social networks and pull up Google Maps with the multitouch skin right out of the box.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.