Touch screens you don't need to touch

Another week, another cool touch screen video that everyone's e-mailing around the office.

Another week, another cool touch screen video that everyone's e-mailing around the office.

The latest most-forwarded is the CeBIT demo video below, which is a collaborative effort between TouchKo, White Electronics Designs, and Groupe 3D. A cross between a monitor and a Wii controller (without the actual controller), the "touchless touch screen" responds to hand movements directly in front of it; you don't even have to come into contact with the screen.

Looks pretty neat, but also kind of exhausting. Although we haven't seen one available in stores yet, the concept of a "touchless touch screen" isn't entirely new. The LM3Labs Ubiq'window video (below) has been on YouTube since July 2006 and appears to offer the same functionality while projected onto a piece of glass.

Last July, news hit the Web that Apple had applied for a patent on a similar touchless user interface. The diagrams in the patent application showed a tablet-like device with a hybrid iTunes/iPod interface. Macheads got giddy.

And then there's the iBar, which seems unnecessary and redundant. Doesn't everyone see a magical show of lights and shapes on the bartop after about six Pabst Blue Ribbons?

All in all, these no-touch screens look boring next to the hologram-like IO2 Technologies Heliodisplay M3. If only it was shaped like R2-D2 , it might be worth the $18,100 asking price.

 

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