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TransWall – transparent glass as interpersonal communication medium

By Maja Bosanac
10 October 2013

transwall-1A group of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a novel multi-sensory game media named “TransWall”, which utilizes both sides of the transparent glass wall as the touch medium. It enables people to see, hear, or even touch other people through the wall while enjoying gaming and interpersonal communication.

TransWall transforms ordinary glass wall into a rich interpersonal communication medium. The technology is based on a two-sided touchable see-through display with an incorporated surface transducer. The surface transducer can deliver the sound and vibration. Holographic screen film with a multi-touch function is inserted between two glass sheets. The image can be projected onto holographic screen film using the beam projector from both sides.

Users can enjoy gaming via a shared transparent display and communicate by talking to through the wall. Unlike general interactive tabletops or shared wall displays for collocated collaboration, TransWall users stand face to face, enabling them to compete or collaborate with others more naturally.

Two users can touch the same spot simultaneously without any physical interference. When this happens the TransWall provides users with specific visual, acoustic, and vibrotactile feedback, so users feel as if they are touching one another.

“TransWall shows an example of near-future where touch-interaction method can be utilized with the soon-to-be commercialized transparent display panel in everyday lives”, said Woo-hoon Lee, professor at KAIST Industrial Design Department.

This new technology can be implemented at public places such as shopping centers, museums, subway stations, and theme parks, where it could inspire extraordinary social interaction. Furthermore, the TransWall could be installed in places that require physical isolation for security and safety such as hospitals rooms that should be kept free from microorganisms. It would allow patients to interact with family and friends without risking infections.

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