Kinect for Windows Enables Touch Screens on Any Surface

Microsoft recently announced the release of its new touch screen technology that turns any ordinary surface, such as a table, a wall, or the floor, into an interactive touch screen. The technology was originally developed by Seattle startup Ubi Interactive using a Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor. Now out of beta, the product is publicly available. The product has potential applications for classrooms, corporations, and business and personal use.

“We want human collaboration and information to be just one finger touch away, no matter where you are,” writes Ubi Interactive co-founder and CEO Anup Chathoth on the Kinect for Windows Product Blog. “By making it possible to turn any surface into a touch screen, we eliminate the need for screen hardware and thereby reduce the cost and extend the possibilities of enabling interactive displays in places where they were not previously feasible — such as on walls in public spaces. Our technology has implications of revolutionizing the way people live their lives on a global level.”

In order to utilize this technology, one must have a computer that runs Ubi software, a projector, and the $250 Kinect for Windows sensor.

“The Kinect system works natively with the Windows touch-screen interface, meaning the icons can be clicked by touch and photos can be zoomed in and out of using multi-touch gestures. Because of the 3D mapping of Kinect, the system is able to tell when users have made a full click, rather than just hovering their fingers above the screen,” explains CNET.

The product comes in four different packages ranging in price from $149-$1,499.