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OrbTouch: Recognizing Human Touch in Deformable Interfaces with Deep Neural Networks

06/08/2017
by   Chris Larson, et al.
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User interfaces provide an interactive window between physical and virtual environments. A new concept in the field of human-computer interaction is a soft user interface; a compliant surface that facilitates touch interaction through deformation. Despite the potential of these interfaces, they currently lack a signal processing framework that can efficiently extract information from their deformation. Here we present OrbTouch, a device that uses statistical learning algorithms, based on convolutional neural networks, to map deformations from human touch to categorical labels (i.e., gestures) and touch location using stretchable capacitor signals as inputs. We demonstrate this approach by using the device to control the popular game Tetris. OrbTouch provides a modular, robust framework to interpret deformation in soft media, laying a foundation for new modes of human computer interaction through shape changing solids.

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