Multitouch screens are being integrated into surfaces all around us; not just our computer monitors, but our walls, our tables, our countertops -- pretty much any surface that is somewhat flat. So why not take advantage of the vast amount of flat workspace going un-utilized beneath our feet? So goes the thinking behind Multitoe, a floor-based interface that users control with their feet.
Most multitouch surfaces are limited by the lengths of our arms: a multitouch surface must be small enough that we can comfortably reach every inch of surface, otherwise the unreachable portions of screen are worthless. This in turn limits how many objects we can cram onto the screen at once.
But Multitoe allows users to wander around a canvas of -- theoretically -- limitless size, manipulating objects with their kicks. Based on frustrated total internal reflection, Multitoe can identify and track several different users working on the same screen and recognize their foot postures, allowing them various degrees of freedom depending on the users balance, posture and movement.
Essentially, Multitoe identifies users by their footprints, using the unique characteristics of the bottom of their shoes to differentiate between them. It can ignore inactive users, tell the difference between walking and screen commands, and even determine the orientation of a user's head based on his or her balance. Multitoe can even perform precision tasks like typing via a virtual hotspot that the computer affixes to the ball of the foot.
As such, Multitoe is far more than a means to tap out "Heart and Soul" on a virtual keyboard; check out the young lady blasting her way through a first-person shooter in the video below. While Multitoe might seem limited in some capacities -- for instance, there are only two points of contact rather than the potential ten we get from our fingers, a fact that might complicate tasks like rotating objects on screen -- it's certainly an interesting technology and could have vast applications.
Imagine smart floors that can guide you directly to a particular painting in a museum and then display information on demand without cluttering the walls with tiny placards. Or Dance Dance Revolution -- which by our estimation will never be the same.
Just imagine the possibilities with technology like this.
Could it be like the airport security sensor made from the wii board?
This seems like it would be far more practical.
I'd still want hard wood floors when i get a home
It'd be a lot more comfortable if they put the screen on the wall so your neck doesn't get sore from looking down after a while. And then I would think that 3D demonstration would be more intuitive to the user. Cool tech, who knows what developers could do with it.
The seeker of knowledge who seeks to reach beyond the stars to go where no mans gone before to see things no man has seen and bring these experiences back for the whole world to hear and see.
this could also be used if reprogramed to identify a specific persons shoe and weight and weight distrubution pattern to create a profile on a person may even be a future security feature one could use this with a eye recognition and finger print system would be one formidable security essentially fool proof .
It could also be a good medical tool seeing as alot of back problems can from improper weight distrubution putting strane on the back simply going to a station placed inside a store or hospital and paying a small fee one can determine if they have a medical problem and be given information on ways to correct problem.
Did anyone else see this as the next step towards the future of gaming technology presented in the movie, "Gamer"? You know, where the walls and pretty much the whole room was a screen.
I want this to be my interface for computing, though I don't think it will help with typing my essay any faster.
this seems ridculus or whtever but it might actaully help
I want my entire house to be touchscreen
i want my entire house too. so cool
nice i like it
is it lonched in the market
there are going to be a lot of people buying it
including me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A touchscreen floor seems like a very good idea. These guys are smart!