Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gadgets To Recognize You Through Touch

We’ve already seen the first wave of this technology in Disney’s amazingmulti-touch houseplants. Now, it’s being turned to humans. Whenever a user touches a display or object of any sort, their Capacitive Fingerprintingtechnique fires electrical frequencies through that user’s body. And by analyzing the exact impedance--the frequencies’ interaction with the particular biochemical makeup of your body--the system can identify you and whomever else is around you tapping at the screen, too.

In fact, the ID technology is so hypersensitive, it won’t even recognize your body’s state eight hours later. “It is not that it is too sensitive, but that the condition and electrical properties of the human body change with time and location,” Poupyrev tells Co.Design. “So, at this point we’re investigating its use for short-term interaction that happens in simple games or in location-based entertainment.”
Indeed, Capacitive Fingerprinting is almost most exciting when it’s connected to devices that aren’t normally as omniscient as smartphones and tablets, but the countless slew of absolutely perfect objects--the tables and the doorknobs--that our world has labeled “dumb.” Or as Pouprev puts it a bit more poetically: “A physical, inanimate object can ‘feel’ who is touching. So, it is kind of magical.”

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