The AquaTop consists of a display projected onto the surface of water, controlled by interacting with the liquid.
Demonstrated at the Laval Virtual conference in France earlier this year – where it won the Interface and Materials Award, as well as the Grand Prix – the interface was developed by researchers at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo. The AquaTop uses cloudy water to act as a projection surface and – similar to the Intera – detects gestures with a Kinect. The creators engineered the system to use the water surface as an integral part of its control – for example, one action is carried out when users dip their fingertips to interact with a screen object, and another when they approach the item from underneath the water. On-screen items also react to the movement of the water, meaning that they can be moved or changed by simply disrupting the surface with a splash, or scooping up the water and placing it elsewhere.
The system has currently been rigged up primarily as a platform for games – with an underwater speaker included to create ripples when a goal is achieved – although the researchers have also demonstrated how it could be used to interact with computer files such as images and video. The following video shows the AquaTop in action:
Spotted by: Alexia M