Taiwan's nonprofit Industrial Technology Research Institute is developing a product called i-Air Touch (iAT) Technology. It's basically a floating augmented-reality touch-screen system like something straight out of the movie "Minority Report" or the more recent "Iron Man" movies. If this new technology becomes a reality, it might just make Google Glass (and other products like it) the next big disruptive consumer tech gadget. As you can see in the pic above and the video below, this new technology is nothing sort of amazing. The technology basically projects a virtual touch-based interface outward and within the user's field of vision. It seems to to float in the air, yet the software can accurately measure the placement of your hands and finger so it can respond to being "touched."
This AR tech isn't just for Google Glass-style devices either. It can be used for a number of different purposes beyond just a commercial application. Here's a quote with more details,
The reason why this technology works is centered on how the software interacts with the custom camera. Here's another quote with a brief explanation,"In addition to consumer applications, i-Air Touch is suitable for medical applications such as endoscopic surgery and any industrial applications that benefit from hands-free input," said Golden Tiao, deputy general director of ITRI's Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories in an e-mail."
What's even more amazing about this technology is that it isn't decades or even years out from realization. It was officially revealed last week and is set to receive a 2013 R&D 100 Award in November. It is already available to be licensed by mobile companies or anyone else!According to ITRI, the secret sauce in iAT is the camera, which only activates when it detects a user's fingertip within a predetermined input distance range (roughly a foot away). In other words, it conserves battery power by only turning on when it detects that someone is trying to "air touch" the virtual input. Air touches are then sent to a host device like a laptop or smartphone that the headset is tethered to.