Assistant professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Chris Harrison said. “For the first time, we’ve been able to take can of paint put a touch

An innovation by Yang Zhang which turns anything into a touch sensor

Assistant professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Chris Harrison said. “For the first time, we’ve been able to take a can of spray paint and put a touch screen on almost anything,”

CMU  (Carnegie Mellon University ) Ph.d.  student Yang Zhang has created Electrick. Electrick uses small electrodes attached to the edges of a painted surface to turn wood, drywall., plastic,  and even Jell _O and play _Doh into a touch sensitive surface. Touch sensitivity has been successfully added to positional control to toys,  walls, and guitars.

What is this Electrick?

The system with touch sensitivity is called Electrick and touch sensitivity is created by a little conductive spray paint. The system uses a technique called “electric field tomography.

According to reports:

Electrick too relies on the shunting effect, like many other touchscreens. When the touchpad is touched by a finger , a bit of electric current gets shunt from it to the ground. Zhang, with his colleagues, showed that they could localize when and where shunting occurs by attaching multiple electrodes to the periphery of an objector conductive coating. In this process,  they used electric field tomography, when they caused small amounts of current running sequentially through the electrodes in pairs and noting any voltage differences.

The team of this technique’s creators envisions tools like interactive smartphone case and interactive walls that are position sensitive of a finger on the back surface and interact on with the phone app. To keep the paint chipping off, a protective coating can be added.

Still wait for the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Denver,  where Yang Zhang will show off the technology.

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