FiberBoard

Multi-touch displays offer a number of advantages over single-touch displays, such as enabling more than one person to use a device and allowing for multi-finger gestures. One kind of multi-touch technology uses infrared light (IR), which lies outside the visible spectrum and is unaffected by the light required for a display. A former major disadvantage of infrared multi-touch is that it uses a camera, which initially required a certain distance for its optical path, resulting in devices that were large and bulky, and therefore often impractical.

We created FiberBoard as an early attempt to flatter form factor for infrared multi-touch interactive surface. Using an array of optical fibres, reflected IR light was channelled to a camera. The flexible fibres meant that the camera could be positioned anywhere and the depth of the device could be significantly minimised: the resulting display was around a tenth of the depth of conventional camera-based multi-touch displays at the time. This approach was adapted for use in our Fiber Chopping Board.

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