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Ubi Interactive

Ubi — the Kinect app that turns any surface into a touchscreen

That’s right. Given the right equipment and Ubi Interactive‘s software, we can (and eventually will) play Angry Birds on our living room walls or go all-out Da Vinci or Banksy by making murals we can swipe away. With this touch-interactive projection software now available, we can use our Kinect to do all this and more.

Jacques Coetzee: staff reporter
Keen to take over the world, Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation... More

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Pumping beats aside, the video shows how easily you could impress your colleagues during a presentation. If a dull click-button wasn’t enough for a boardroom meeting, you can now slide through your slideshow as it’s projected onto the table. Which it would be.

With the projection on a wall, your web browsing might look cool, but it won’t be as practical. It’s when you’re projecting on a table surface that it gets really interesting, and a bit more comfy. Think swiping though photo albums with your family, playing online card games, Angry Birds and simply browsing Imgur or 9Gag with friends. You could definitely imagine seeing one of these in an electronics shop some day. There’s a lot of experimentation to be done in this arena yet.

The system works natively with Windows touch interface so pinch zooming and multitouch gestures are all there. The Kinect sensors are able to distinguish between an actual touch and a subtle aiming of a finger hovering over a specific area. This means that those shadows on the projection screen wouldn’t interfere with the overall touch.

You’ll need to cough up the dough in order to get your sticky fingers on walls and tables. That’s if you of course don’t already have some of these accessories. You’ll need the projector, Kinect and the Ubi software uploaded to a PC. The software, which supports Windows 8, only will set you back either US$150 (R 1500) for the basic 45-inch or US$1 500 (R15 000) for the enterprise 100-inch.

There are also other similar alternatives such as the Touchless – it’s a bit cheaper and includes a free trail.

Any surface a touch screen? “What would they think of next?” you ponder. Well there’s also the story of turning your water-filled bathtub into a liquid touchscreen. Science, baby.