This article is a few weeks old (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21603323), but I’ve recently decided/had time to write about it. It’s a fantastic new piece of equipment that is a new type of touch screen computer interface. This invention is call space top; however it has something that traditional touch screens lack; the ability to touch things on the screen. That’s correct folks you can moving things around the screen by “physically” grabbing them.
Now I say “physically” grab because you aren’t actually grabbing it, but on the screen it looks like you are. If you are still a little lost because of my garbled description, think Tony Stark’s computer interface in Iron Man. Remember how he was able to scroll through files, pick up and move files around on his work desk? Well this is the closest we’ve come to it. It uses two depth cameras that detect touch and gestures from the user, as well as a depth camera for face tracking. The face tracking enables the computer to track head movement to provide an accurate view of the objects in the screen. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I am going to say it seems pretty damn awesome.
As for practical uses, education is one of the first things that come to mind. Traditionally auditory instruction is the basis for most class room learning. There is a visual component, but the majority of the information is given verbally. This method typically favors one type of student over the others, namely students with better auditory skills. The difference is eased by textbooks and other visual based learning devices; but this adds a whole new realm of tactile learning that could greatly benefit those who learn much better with physical learning devices. This sort of hands on learning will help all students because it adds another sense to the learning process which improves memory. So if anyone reading this needs help studying, try and engage as many senses as possible: sight; hearing; physically writing; etc… when studying. It is actually amazing how much it helps you remember. That being said this SpaceTop should be an amazing learning tool.
Its uses aren’t limited to just education, it can be used for shopping online, 3D printing, and pretty much anything you can imagine. So the sky’s the limit to what you use your SpaceTop for.