The learning commons will be an interactive space with technology that allows for instant interactions with knowledge resources. The big challenge today is to make the environment more flexible and adaptable. Touché, a new sensing technology developed by Disney Research, proposes a novel Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing technique. It can detect a touch or personal interaction and simultaneously recognize complex configurations from the hand and the body.
The new technology will significantly enhance computer interactions, allowing for a broad range of applications in the classroom, library and the learning commons. For example, the product will enable learning environments (classrooms, museums, libraries) to enhance conventional touchscreens and lower the cost of hardware installations. It will create scenarios for library patrons to be able to browse e-books just like they were browsing a book stack. We can envision techniques to cross the digital boundary without hard-wired displays.
The technology will enable learning environments to add complex touch and gesture sensitivity to computing devices and everyday objects. It will enable the designers of learning environments to create virtual objects with touch sensitivity making it easy and straightforward to interact with technology.
The product illustrates that a single wire is sufficient to make objects and environments touch and gesture sensitive. Indeed, the next generation of learning spaces will be fluid and interactive. In the next couple of years, this technology will change the way we interact in the learning environment. It will enable virtual browsing to become a reality.