At a user interface symposium this week in Santa Barbara, Calif Microsoft Research presented their new technology that will transform any surface into a touch screen. This new technology is dubbed as OmniTouch and it is a wearable system that enables multi-touch input on “arbitrary, daily surfaces.

Hrvoje Benko of the Natural Interaction Research group at Microsoft added that “We wanted to take advantage of the terrific surface area the real world provides”

This technology unites a depth-sensing camera and laser-based pico projector, the latter not like Microsoft’s Kinect camera for the Xbox 360. But it has been re-designed to function at short range.

The camera which is used in OmniTouch technology is a prototype given by PrimeSense and when the projector and camera are adjusted to each other, then the user can put on the system and can begin to use it, as said by Microsoft.

The key research challenges primarily revolved around defining to the system what fingers look like and also the notion that any surface is can be the potential projected surface signaling the touch interaction; and detecting touch when the surface which is being touched contains no sensors- as told by Chris Harrison, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University, who participated in the project and wrote about the research.

Apparently a user friendly system doesn’t require a bulky apparatus which only a card-carrying propeller head would be blatant enough to wear in public.

The project is being unveiled at the UIST 2012, which is the 24th symposium by the Association of Computing Machinery regarding the User Interface Software and Technology. The conference will be held from October 16 to October 19 in Santa Barbara, California.