Turn Your Monitor Into a Touchscreen That Can Detect 16 Fingers, Using a Polymer Film

Illustration for article titled Turn Your Monitor Into a Touchscreen That Can Detect 16 Fingers, Using a Polymer Film

What if you could convert the monitor you're looking at right now into a touchscreen? Sounds crazy, but the Portuguese company Displax has created a polymer film that can do just that, for up to 120-inch screens.

It's not just glass that Displax is claiming their film will work with—apparently plastic and wood can be made into an interactive screen, which will detect as many as 16 fingers making shapes on its surface and even recognize when someone is blowing across it.

Wired explains how it works:

"A grid of nanowires are embedded in the thin polymer film that is just about 100 microns thick. A microcontroller processes the multiple input signals it receivers from the grid. A finger or two placed on the screen causes an electrical disturbance. This is analyzed by the microcontroller to decode the location of each input on that grid. The film comes with its own firmware, driver–which connect via a USB connection–and a control panel for user calibration and settings."

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While it sounds like vaporware, Displax is claiming the first screens using their technology will be on sale in July, giving us enough time to think of some flat surfaces to turn into a touchscreen. [Displax via Wired]

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DISCUSSION

I don't understand why people have a problem with it being able to handle 16 fingers. It can go up to 120 inches, that means a giant screen, meaning more than one person can use it at the same time for projects/collaboration and what have you.

There are already touchscreens that can handle multiple inputs/points of touch above 10.

I can use this to make a Surface-like computer that isn't made from a box, paper, webcam, and glass.