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Room-Sized Interactive Surfaces May Soon Become the Norm
Jan. 26, 2021
MIT Sprayable Technology

Room-Sized Interactive Surfaces May Soon Become the Norm

Last year, MIT debuted a spray paint that can be used to control technology just about anywhere you want.  As we examine this novel design, not only do we see a world where we no longer require wires, controllers, or switches, we see a huge opportunity for marketing companies and businesses to really express themselves. With further research and development, this tech could transform the world of digital marketing and signage as we know it. Before long we could all be working with large-scale interactive surfaces.

A purpose fit for all end-users

The great thing about SprayableTech, as it’s been dubbed by MIT, is that it has applications for both B2B and B2C. In the home, MIT suggested that by using clear paint on your sofa, you could turn your own couch into a fully functioning TV remote; switching channels, changing volume and settings with a few swipes and taps on the surface. And these clear interfaces could be placed anywhere.

For businesses, the possibilities are endless. Organizations can create room-sized interactive surfaces that are bound only by their own imagination.

Interactive displays no longer limited by size

Consider museums that currently utilize interactive displays. Now imagine having the entirety of the room to experiment with. Michael Wesley, a researcher at MIT said “We view this as a tool that will allow humans to interact with and use their environment in newfound ways.” Stating that this technology would soon be able to reach beyond the walls and help power whole cities.

You don’t even have to be confined by items of furniture or even the walls. This is where the 3d digital toolkit comes in.

Fully customizable digital objects

With MIT’s digital toolkit, users will be able to completely design new digital objects for their interactive displays.

They can then be integrated with other technology like proximity sensors, sliders, or buttons, meaning the object could be controlled by just a wave of the hand.

MIT researchers used the example of a rainbow which introduces each hue as you wave over it, with the rainbow stencil being designed by the digital toolkit. Businesses could do this with their company logo, for example, or to reveal QR codes or ad campaigns.

With collaboration from graffiti artists, businesses could showcase their own creative flair, turning imagery into fully functioning interactive pieces that play music, control lighting, and even interact with you—especially if we consider how such systems could integrate with AI similar to Google’s Assistant, Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa.

The new tech hopes to bring to reality the types of large shifting images that you see in SciFi films like the Matrix or Iron Man. People could have the opportunity to become a real-life Tony Stark.

Limitations and Final thoughts

Sprayable interactive surfaces could and probably will become the norm within the next few years. As technological capabilities advance, we could see entire cities utilizing this smart tech in our lifetime.

However, for the moment, the tech is solely in the ‘stencil design phase’ to ensure correct positioning and connections to the controller. The team at MIT are already working on modular stencils though, meaning users won’t have to create their own using 3D editing software. From there, they can begin to work with designers and architects to take this tech to the next level and integrate it seamlessly into homes/businesses across the globe.

For full details on this research project, head over to MIT’s website where they have published the entirety of their findings.