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AquaTop Display Your Own Cylon Datastream

Now, you can command your robot army from the tub! Very relaxing for those who seek to dominate the galaxy. All thanks to researchers at the University of Tokyo Electro Communications Laboratory.


(Aquatop display video)

AquaTop display is a projection system that uses white water as a screen surface. This system allows the user's limbs to freely move through, under and over the projection surface. Using the unique characteristics of fluid, we propose new interactions methods specific to the projection medium, water. Our system uses a depth camera to detect input on and over the water surface to allow for interactions such as protruding fingers out from under the water surface and scooping up the water with both hands. This type of interaction is not capable with current impenetrable, rigid body, flat surfaces. For example, by floating one's limbs on the water surface, it is also possible to fuse one's body with the displayed objects for further augmented interaction by 'becoming one' with the screen.

The way it works is simple - try it in your home!

Add bath salts--magnesium sulfate, not the mind-altering drugs--to the water, giving it a pale murky color so that images can be cast onto the water's surface by a projector mounted above and opposite the bathtub. A Microsoft Kinect serves as a depth camera so the system can respond to commands from both the water's surface and within the water. An array of 80-millimeter speakers produce 50Hz waves that deliver haptic feedback to the user. In a demonstration, a 250-millimeter speaker, to which a grid of red LEDs was attached, created a light-up mini-fountain within the tub and was used to indicate explosions in a video game played on the water's surface. The elements are all conducted by a master control computer, which you should be careful not to splash.

Science fiction fans may believe that this device gets them closer to the Cylon datastream 'terminal' in Battlestar Galactica.


(Standing before the Cylon datastream 'terminal')

The datastream on a Cylon basestar seems to actually consist of water; humanoid cylons work with it by gently touching this illuminated panel covered by a thin sheet of water.

Via IEEE Spectrum.

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