Multitouch & Smart Surface – Overview
Multitouch surface computing is a novel technology that provides a natural interface between the user and the computer. This technology allows actual physical manipulation of the objects on the display surface through the users’ multiple finger movements and gestures. A surface computer is an interface in the form of any kind of flat surface. The surface itself cancels the need for any conventional Input/0utput (I/O) devices of the computer (keyboard, mouse, screen, touch pad, etc.). The surface I/O capabilities are accessed by touch (multiple or single) either by finger and/or any form of individual or multiple solid object(s) and/or by recognition technology of users’ gestures without touch.
Applications of this technology cover a whole spectrum of industries including advertising, communications, medical photo screening, defense, industrial design and education. Each surface computer unit caters to multiple users who can simultaneously manipulate different applications on the same surface. This technology opens the door to the first real ubiquitous computing application as it converts all surfaces, from tabletops and counters to the hallway walls, into an interactive computing devise. The market for multitouch surface computing has the potential to become a major multibillion-dollar industry with a 17% growth rate over the next seven years.
Smart Surface Sdn Bhd is a local Malaysia company (30% Bumiputra) that has developed several technologies related to multitouch, surface computing and gesture computing and commercialized a multitude of products and prototypes that cover the entire range of possible uses of this novel technology. There are currently only a handful of companies, including Microsoft, that have achieved a working model of only one type of surface computer. In contrast, Smart Surface Sdn Bhd is developing not one but a wide range of multitouch surface models.
Smart Surface Sdn Bhd has made several technological breakthroughs related to rear-projection models of surface computers by achieving an unprecedented display size ratio and response delay. The first prototype has won the company two prestigious awards in ITEX technology exhibition in 2009, and in subsequent models a detection technology based on laser systems have gained us other awards, such as the prestigious Malaysia Excellence Award, in 2010. Smart Surface is also pioneering the development of a gesture recognition technology and applications based on 3D display systems.