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AquaTop Immersive Display System: Get Your Hands Wet to Sink Some Files

timothy posted about a year ago | from the not-for-use-below-freezing dept.

Displays 52

mikejuk writes with an intriguing description of AquaTop, a (very) interactive display system developed at Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications Koike Laboratory, which uses a Kinect sensor, a projector, and a tub of cloudy water. Images are projected into the water, and as a user, "[Y]ou can move them around, resize them using the usual two-finger pinch, but you can also pick them up in cupped hands and transfer them somewhere else. The gesture I really liked was 'sink to delete' — yes, that's often how I feel about a file. Add some waterproof loudspeakers under the surface and allow the computer to run them at low frequency. The result is that you can now make the surface 'boil' in response to the sound. You can make fountains of water appear and project the right colors onto it to make it look like an explosion. In the demo game you throw energy bolts at squid that blow up if you hit them. You have to see the video to understand how putting your hands in cold water might be so much fun."

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52 comments

Metaphors (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539217)

This isn't really useful right now, but these kinds of technologies lead to a possible future where we aren't that much different than we are now and we interact with our virtual world a bit more naturally. Contrast that to a future where we adapt ourselves to more easily access the information in our virtual world.

Re:Metaphors (2)

maliqua (1316471) | about a year ago | (#44539851)

i agree, it seems almost silly right now, but at the same time it is incredibly clever in a way. It makes me happy to see this kind of innovation even though it may not immediately fill a role in my home its encouraging to see people thinking so differently from what we see every day in the tech industry

Re:Metaphors (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#44540115)

Be a fun toy for younger kids.

Re:Metaphors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540449)

And for stoners.

Re:Metaphors (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44539931)

"imagine a computer that fits inside a single room and holds millions of pieces of information"

Re:Metaphors (2)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about a year ago | (#44540993)

I don't know. Many is the time I have been relaxing in the tub (well, shower, but the idea is the same) when I wished I could access the Internet for some random piece of information. I wish I could just say "computer, what were the lyrics to 'Velcro Fly'?" or "what was the Seventh Amendment?" and I'd see that information in some sort of display (I imagined a free-floating hologram against the shower mist). I could see a device like this very useful for bathing.

I'm not sold on using it for anything productive or even for games, though. It looked incredibly unwieldy and inaccurate in use.

And while I'm sure the Japanese are quite in favor of it, bathing in all that murk seems... dubious to me. I shower to get clean; getting out of the water with all that residue clinging to me?

I AM THE POETRY MAN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539223)

And I do not rhyme !!

You know someone is thinking... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539249)

this would be great for pr0n.

Re:You know someone is thinking... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44539947)

just don't drink the cloudy water

Re: You know someone is thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44541143)

Too late. The dog already lapped it up.

Cylon Basestar (1, Offtopic)

Bradmont (513167) | about a year ago | (#44539253)

Sounds like the UI on the Cylon ships in the new BSG series

Re:Cylon Basestar (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44539709)

That was my first thought.

Re:Cylon Basestar (1)

sunspot42 (455706) | about a year ago | (#44540123)

Same here. Life imitates art...

Well, Great (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539259)

This looks brilliantly innovative and completely useless.

Re:Well, Great (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539425)

Agreed.

Just because some nutjobs went "I have found a spot where I am without computer for a few minutes. I must fill this void!" - does not mean it is a good idea.

Vibrating In-Bath Feedback (4, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44539261)

Vibrating In-Bath Feedback is going to be popular with consenting adults I think.

Re:Vibrating In-Bath Feedback (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539297)

It's already good at finding the tips of things protruding from the water...

Re:Vibrating In-Bath Feedback (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540125)

Vibrating In-Bath Feedback is going to be popular with consenting adults I think.

And this will drive the development of high efficiency self cleaning bath tubs, hot tubs, etc...

Re:Vibrating In-Bath Feedback (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44540789)

Get Your Hands Wet to Sink Some Files

Interactive fisting videos? :p

You sunk my dataship (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44539329)

You sunk my dataship

What a relief this should be (1)

black6host (469985) | about a year ago | (#44539349)

After all the hot water I get into maybe I can relax for a bit :)

Search and Rescue (1)

Uncle Mark (AUS) (2973391) | about a year ago | (#44539387)

I'm wondering if this technology could be up-scaled to be useful for detecting persons lost at sea during the night? Although the cloudy texture isn't quite there...it is salt water...

Re:Search and Rescue (2)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | about a year ago | (#44540011)

And how exactly do you envision that being useful? To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the ocean is big. Really big. Really really really big. Etc.

Re:Search and Rescue (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#44540079)

I assume he wants to gather balls of light with his fingers and fire them at people lost in the ocean.

Re:Search and Rescue (1)

psergiu (67614) | about a year ago | (#44540453)

And when the balls of light hit those people, the water around them will begin to fizzle and light up with a strong red glow - making-it easier for the search & rescue vessels to locate them. :-)

Re:Search and Rescue (1)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about a year ago | (#44540917)

I'm wondering if this technology could be up-scaled to be useful for detecting persons lost at sea during the night

That shouldn't be too hard to achieve:

Step 1: Launch the MegaKinect into L5 orbit so that it may look down upon us all. We may need to harvest Mercury for materials and energy.
Step 2: line the shorelines with LEDs.
Step 3: line the ocean bottom with waterproofed loudspeakers.
Step 4: dump additives into the ocean water so it becomes appropriately murky (I believe we've already started on this one)

Result: never worry about being lost at see again, or if you do get lost, rest assured that you'll be able to play games in the waves until you drown.

Major backer - Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539423)

The adult entertainement industry needs to back this project ASAP.

For short-term use only. (1)

skids (119237) | about a year ago | (#44539427)

You have to see the video to understand how putting your hands in cold water might be so much fun

Does it come with a catheter?

Autorefresh ... !@##$ (-1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about a year ago | (#44539439)

Is there any way to disable slashdots incredibly annoying autorefresh?

Firstly, all day long I see a stupid spinning wheel on my tab bar in chrome because of slashdots autorefresh. I know its not refreshing constantly, but for some reason chrome shows the spinning wheel constantly even when its not refreshing. I assume because theres an autorefresh timer ticking down? Either way, its ANNOYING AS FUCK.

Secondly, the autorefresh tends to ALWAYS happen while i'm reading some article halfway down the page and then the page clears and reloads and I lose my spot. THIS IS ANNOYING AS FUCK.

I really do not want to have to use plugins or javascript hacks. This should be an option that can be enabled/disabled in user preferences on slashdot.

Please please please fix this before I find news elsehwere. You do not want to be pissing off your users. I know its pissing off other people because i've seen comments regarding it as well as other posts out on the internet. Please don't annoy your users with these stupid features.

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (2)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#44540335)

Yea I know OT.

switch to the old style classical interface. it is only the over feature stuffed web 2.0 version that is a pain to use.

if I login slashdot to me looks like it did 5 years ago. I know instantly when I haven't logged in as it take on the crappy web 2.0 interface that always hangs no matter what browser your using.

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44541125)

crappy web 2.0 interface that always hangs no matter what browser your using.

Works fine and is very speedy for me on recent versions of Firefox on WinXP and Ubuntu (on crappy old slow PCs as well).

Finer Granularity in the Haptic Feedback (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44539501)

They should use tinier Long-Throw subwoofers so they can have the explosions be more lined up with the objects being destroyed, also a finer RGB LED array so that the explosions are more colorful.

And in case of virus / malfunction / Win8? (1)

bunkymag (1567407) | about a year ago | (#44539531)

Just flush!

Sounds pretty therapeutic to me..

Autorefresh ... !@##$ (-1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about a year ago | (#44539537)

Is there any way to disable slashdots incredibly annoying autorefresh?

Firstly, all day long I see a stupid spinning wheel on my tab bar in chrome because of slashdots autorefresh. I know its not refreshing constantly, but for some reason chrome shows the spinning wheel constantly even when its not refreshing. I assume because theres an autorefresh timer ticking down? Either way, its ANNOYING AS HELL.

Secondly, the autorefresh tends to ALWAYS happen while i'm reading some article halfway down the page and then the page clears and reloads and I lose my spot. THIS IS ANNOYING AS HELL.

I really do not want to have to use plugins or javascript hacks. This should be an option that can be enabled/disabled in user preferences on slashdot.

Please please please fix this before I find news elsehwere. You do not want to be pissing off your users. I know its pissing off other people because i've seen comments regarding it as well as other posts out on the internet. Please don't annoy your users with these stupid features.

Three comments (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44539855)

Slow.
Inaccurate
Messy

Wow (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#44539875)

I think I may be getting too old, but the quote from TFS seems like a foreign language to me. If it can't be done on a VT100 it shouldn't be done at all.

        And, you rotten teenagers stay off my lawn!

Re:Wow (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44540053)

I think I may be getting too old, but the quote from TFS seems like a foreign language to me. If it can't be done on a VT100 it shouldn't be done at all.

Yep. I'm not buying into it either, there's no market for this. They said this would be useful for applications in Bath Houses. They said bath houses and hot-springs are a part of Japanese culture, but that's just a myth! Free-standing decaffeinated water does not exist. Coffee or Tea or Colas? Yes, of course... Bottled water? Perhaps, yes jugs even, but, "Baths?!" What fool would spill liquid on anything to that degree? Never in all my years in this basement have I heard such blatant rubbish.

It's like those fools who think global warming is caused by the sun -- As if Daylight Exists!?

Waterproof laptop? (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about a year ago | (#44539911)

Their choice of location for the laptop looks like they're just using this as a way to 'accidentally' need a new one.

Another case of UI design by movie characters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540025)

As in: People who never actually used a computer to do actual work, and have no fucking clue about what a good UI is whatsoever.
They only want it to be the movie edition of "futuristic"... which is of course something those types *themselves* designed for pure flashiness and "cool look" based on someone's outside perception of what it means to "use a computer". (A foreign device to them.)

They *literally* have no idea what they're doing.

Re:Another case of UI design by movie characters (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44540175)

Yes, heaven forbid somebody invent a computer interface because it's interesting to investigate, and not because it's good for doing Microsoft Office.

Re:Another case of UI design by movie characters (2)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#44540455)

Did you honestly just say the equivalent of:

"Yes, heaven forbid somebody invent a driver interface because it's interesting to drive with, and not because it's good for keeping the car on the road."?

Exploring alternate interfaces is one thing. Claiming they are practical is quite another. An impractical interface is, pretty much by definition, worthless as an interface.

Sure, in terms of experimenting and looking at the problem from different angles, it's "interesting". But you always have to consider the practical use. Things without practical use are, basically, art projects. "Interesting to investigate" but utterly useless at actually getting anything done.

One can inspire the other, sure, but an interface like this is nothing more than a gimmick. Now, Kinect, Wii controllers, even those musical artists that "play" light or vegetables - they are interesting to investigate AND practical (for certain definitions of practical - the vegetable thing, for example, is nothing more than what we already do with touchscreens, measuring capacitance of objects to detect changes when they are touched). Maybe their early experiments weren't practical - but here's the clincher - YOU DID NOT HEAR ABOUT THEM. For good reason. And they certainly didn't make frontpage.

There's investigating alternatives, thinking outside the box, and going back to first principles and trying again. But this is just a very expensive and extremely impractical way to do things we already do much more efficiently with - critically - no hope of ever improving the contribution that this would make to those tasks.

Re:Another case of UI design by movie characters (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44543385)

Invent 100 cool new impractical interfaces, and one of them will transform real UIs forever. Each one is pretty silly, but such silliness is the only source of non-incremental change. And incremental change gets eventually gets stuck in a local maximum, so you need the other sort from time to time.

I just wish someone had realized the "ribbon" was one of those silly 99 ideas.

Re:Another case of UI design by movie characters (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#44546257)

Did they *say* it was practical? It doesn't sound practical, but it does sound interesting. "Interesting" UIs aren't generally good for day to day office tasks, but in addition to being springboards for other new ideas, they can also lead to more direct innovations in entertainment. For instance: I certainly wouldn't want a file manager based on DDR, but I do enjoy playing DDR, and I couldn't play it without a dance mat. That's a pretty unique interface.

Give them a break (4, Funny)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | about a year ago | (#44540119)

It might be rubbish or plain stupid, but it's a pretty cool use of different technologies which might give birth to other cool stuff.

If B.Franklin discovery was published in /. he would get comments like: "oh, a glow in the dark kite string, what's the use for that? jewelry?", "Attach it to your penis and have (your last) sexual experience thanks to Tor", "Who the hell needs electricity when we have candles... get off my lawn", "OMG!!!!111! Hittler".

Pathetic.

Re:Give them a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540183)

"OMG!!!!111! Hittler".

Pathetic.

TIL B. Franklin hung out with Timelords.

Re:Give them a break (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44544689)

The difference between this and electricity is that there are hundreds of different uses for electricity. This tub is just a different implementation of already existing technology and has only one use. By the way, Franklin did not discover electricity; he was merely one of many.

...don't you? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44540159)

> AquaTop Immersive Display

I hate that show. I wanna punch that french fry guy in the face.

Ummm. Can I use beer as the media? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44541171)

Or is that being redundant?

Slashdotted.. (1)

Kadagan AU (638260) | about a year ago | (#44544541)

I can't get to the original story, but for anyone looking for the videos, click here [youtube.com]

Not sure about multiplayer (1)

Jyms (598745) | about a year ago | (#44546351)

This is pretty cool, but can you imagine how dirty the water will get. The bath example is probably the most practical one.
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