Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New ways to talk to your computer

09.10.2003


Scientists explore how we could interact with computers



Imagine ordering your meal in a restaurant by a simple tap on the table, transmitting your choice direct to the kitchens. Or placing an order for goods by making your selection on the surface of the shop window.

It may sound like science fiction, but this could be the way we interact with computers in the future, thanks to a pan-European research project, led by experts at Cardiff University, Wales, UK.


"The vast majority of us communicate with our computers using tangible interfaces such as the keyboard, mouse, games console or touch screen," said Dr Ming Yang of the University’s multi-award-winning Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC), which is a Welsh Development Agency centre of excellence.

"Although these are in common usage they have certain disadvantages - we are required to be ’within reach’ of the computer and most devices lack robustness (to heat, pressure, water) restricting their spheres of application. Although some voice activated and vision systems for interacting with computers do exist, they are as yet unreliable."

The vision of this new research project is to develop Tangible Acoustic Interfaces for Computer Human Interactions (TAI-CHI). It will explore how physical objects such as walls, windows and table tops, can in effect become giant 3D touch screens, acting as an interface between any computer and its user.

The whole project is based on the principle that interacting with any physical object produces acoustic waves both within the object and on its surface. By visualising and characterising such acoustic patterns and how they react when touched or moved, a new medium for communication with computers and the cyber-world can be developed.

While acoustic sensing techniques have been used for many years in both military and industrial applications, none is suitable for the multimedia applications envisaged by Tai-Chi. Some commercial products also exist, but are limited in their application to flat glass surfaces only and are restricted by size. The Tai-Chi project will go well beyond these limitations.

"Our goal is to make this technology accessible to all," said Dr Yang, who leads the Tai-Chi team at the MEC. "Once that is done, the possibilities of application are endless."

The Tai-Chi research project, supported by EC funding from the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), sees the MEC co-ordinating the work with partners from Paris in France, Genoa and Milan in Italy, IMW in Clausthal, Germany, Lausanne in Switzerland and the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Chris Matthews | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht The plastic brain: Better connectivity of brain regions with training
02.07.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

nachricht Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media - Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen
04.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>