Sometimes there is nothing better than relaxing in a warm bath after a hectic, stressful week. For those of you frequent bath-takers, we all have our own rituals. Add bubbles and salts to ease those aching muscles, and simply vegetate. Some may dim the lights, some may turn off all the lights and add candles; you can drink your favorite glass of Cabernet or Sauvignon Blanc, while others read magazines. A little background music to your lounging time is always appreciated - we all know you blast the worst (best) guilty pleasures in your iTunes when no one’s listening. I have been subject to all of the above at one point or another, but my vice these days is watching movies or shows on my iPad. The unfortunate part is that of course it isn’t water proof, which makes for slightly complicated maneuvers in order to keep it dry. Also, it sucks holding up any device over the water because it is the opposite of relaxing. Let's face it, we're all lazy sometimes.
I have the cure: AquaTop Display. Researchers at Tokyo University of Electro-Communications have been able to transform the bathtub into an enormous touchscreen display. The AquaTop display is a projection system utilizing white water as the screen surface. They use a Kinect, which tracks the movement of limbs, specifically the fingers. Users can interact with the screen in front of them from above and below the water surface. Moving your hand over the bathtub surface, an object will move just like on a tablet. When you touch the water surface, the system provides natural feedback. Two finger zoom is also possible. You can drag and drop applications, scoop up videos to view full screen, and by sinking the application into the water, you can ‘delete’ the application all together.
How is this possible you ask? The system uses a depth camera to detect input on and over the water surface. The AquaTop Display is significantly more intuitive than using a mouse with a desktop computer, and more intuitive than a touch screen tablet. So, now you can sit in the tub, watch movies, tv shows, and even play video games. Don't worry, whatever limbs are laying below the surface will not affect the action going on above! They have created some fun applications, soccer games, shooting games, and their best is the prototype Jellyfish game where your fingers become the source for pretty magic circles that you can throw to eliminate the Jellies. Bath time is now fully immersive and entirely interactive. Enjoy!
For more information on this really incredible advancement in technology, check out the video below!