For a while now, we have been seeing concepts that use projection technology to virtually turn any surface into a touchscreen. Desirable as these systems are, they have always been something out of reach, not quite ready for production. Things for such systems now seem to be looking up with the entry of Microsoft into the arena.
The tech giant has unveiled a new concept that will make a touchscreen out of any surface it can be projected on. Unveiled at UIST 2012, the OmniTouch system does hold a promise for the future. The challenge of course is to have a fairly portable and accurate system that can not only project images, but can differentiate between objects and fingers to be able to take inputs from users.
As of now, the prototype is a bulky machine in the shape of a projector and depth camera strapped on to the shoulder of the user. This isn’t going to make the cut for a production version, but hopefully future versions will be miniaturized enough to be useful for a production environment.