Anup Chathoth, co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based startup Ubi Interactive, has updated Microsoft's Kinect for Windows blog with news that Microsoft's motion sensing device for the PC can now turn nearly any surface into a touch-capable screen. All potential users need is the Windows-based Kinect sensor, a projector, a Windows 8 PC and the Ubi software which just came out of beta and is now available to purchase.
"We want human collaboration and information to be just one finger touch away, no matter where you are," Chathoth wrote. "By making it possible to turn any surface into a touch screen, we eliminate the need for screen hardware and thereby reduce the cost and extend the possibilities of enabling interactive displays in places where they were not previously feasible -- such as on walls in public spaces."
The price of the software depends on the size of the projected screen and number of touch inputs. The Basic version costs $149 and enables a single input on a 45 inch display. Support is provided by the company's forum only. The next three packages support 100 inch screens, but provide different touch inputs and support options: Professional for one input and 48-hour email response for $379, Business for two inputs and 24-hour email response for $799, and Enterprise for 20 inputs and same-day priority support via phone for $1499.
Chathoth said construction company The Walsh Group has been using the setup since June 2012 to display an interactive 3D blueprint on a wall rather than present clients with drawings. The clients can see the resulting building as if looking through a window, but interact with it by merely touching the projected image. Company innovation manager Patrick Wirtz calls Ubi "futuristic-like technology" that can be used today.
"I didn’t want to spend $10,000," he said. "I already had a projector and a computer. All I needed to purchase was the software and a $250 Kinect for Windows sensor. With this small investment, I can now turn any surface into a touch screen. It’s a powerful piece of technology."
The potential applications aren't just geared for architecture. Teachers can instruct classes in an interactive lecture hall, and shoppers could even access product information on a store's window front even after hours. Recipes could be projected onto kitchen countertops and Angry Birds could be played across a bedroom floor. The possibilities, according to Chathoth, are endless.
"Our technology has implications of revolutionizing the way people live their lives on a global level," Chathoth said. "After private beta evaluation with more than 50 organizations, the Ubi software is now available for ordering."
For more information about the software, head here. Naturally, Kinect for Windows, a projector and a Windows 8 PC are sold separately.