Interactive Surfaces with Interfaces Sprayed On

World of Sprayable User Interfaces
Source:  MIT

MIT's Sensor Inks for Your Interactive Life
Researchers at MIT, along with scientists 
from the UK, have developed a brand new
technology that they're calling a sprayable
user interface.  These are sprayable 
sensors with conductive ink that, for example,
would enable you to touch the arm of your
chair to change the channel on television. 
This unique user interface can work on
just about any surface, including wet, 
outdoor surfaces, rough and curved

Vision of a Digital User Interface Future
The researchers say their new technology
forwards the vision of blending digital
user interfaces with the physical 
environment, including large-scale
interactive surfaces.  This technology
could be part of smart buildings in the
future.  Specifically, stenciled, airbrushed
designs on surfaces that respond to touch.

Remarkable Technology
The technology is multilayered.  There's 
a top design layer, an underlying layer of
conductive copper ink that recognizes touch.
And there's a microcontroller that connects
to the ink and responds to it.  With the unique
conductive ink, the researchers are able to
connect any stencil design to gadgets.  So,
for instance, to turn music on in your kitchen,
you would just touch the 
note symbol on your smart wall.

Next Steps
The researchers at MIT's CSAIL, University
of Bath and University of Bristol in the UK
are now focused on further developing, scaling 
up and commercializing this new technology.
They've successfully demonstrated the 
system for interactive, smart home applications
on walls and sofas, interactive smart cities 
and interactive smart architecture in public
office spaces.


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