Microsoft Research has developed a transparent sensor surface for tablet PCs, called FlexSense. The work was performed in partnership with the Institute of Surface Technologies and Photonics of Joanneum Research and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.
FlexSense is a flexible sensor foil connected to the tablet. It enables a direct reconstruction of complex deformation, without external sensors or cameras. 16 transparent piezoelectric sensors are placed on the outside edge of a thin sheet. These can be used to record deformation of the sheet. The 3D shape of the sheet can be reconstructed using special algorithms.
The sensors are printable, in a ‘simple and cost-efficient’ process. The basic technology is called ‘PyzoFlex’, developed by Joanneum Research.
Microsoft has demonstrated the FlexSense foil being used as layers on top of a tablet, adding detail to the displayed image. Watch a video at http://tinyurl.com/oqtkqbz.