New Sensing System Turns Almost Anything Into Touchscreen

Enabling computing systems to understand user interactions with everyday surfaces and objects can drive a wide range of applications. Here, a Voice PickUp Unit captures Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs) on surfaces over long distances and in noisy environments. Ultimately, SAWs offer a unique signal that can enable robust recognition of user touch and on-surface events.

“This technology will enable you to treat, for example, the whole surface of your body like an interactive surface,” said Yasha Iravantchi , U-M doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering. “If you put the device on your wrist, you can do gestures on your own skin. We have preliminary findings that demonstrate this is entirely feasible.”