Spatial Interface

Prototype of the interface
Prototype of the interface

With this system is possible to detect interactions in a space without using tangible objects. A simple grid of laser rays will be triggered without the need of a “physical” interface. In other words it is possible to generate interactions “trough the space itself”. The grid system offers a wide range of possibilities with a very simple set-up. The prototype shown above demonstrates the basic operation of such an interface.

This project enables new ways of interacting with the space. Once installed, a person would be able to trigger some reaction only with the movements of his / her hand, thanks to the immateriality of the interface. The following example shows how the system could be eventually used to control a screen.

Simulation of the interface without the laser beams
Simulation of the interface

The following picture shows how the grid could be installed in a determinated space (the laser rays are simulated). When a person interrupts at some point the laser grid, it triggers the sensor system and the data gathered can be transmited to a screen. The rays are not visible for the person.

Simulation of the interface with the laser beams
Simulation of the interface

The system works thanks to a grid of laser pointers and photdiodes. Anytime that two laser rays are interrupted, the respective photodiodes send a signal to the microcontroller, which in turn transmits the coordinates of the action to the computer. Therefore the interface can provide the position of the interaction with some accuracy.

Possible use of the interface on the floor of a space
Possible use on floor

Possible use of the interface on the ceiling of a space
Possible use on ceiling

There isn’t a concrete purpose for it, rather than exploring a new way of interacting with the environment. It can be used at a bigger scale as part of an interactive installation, or installed definitely in a specific room. For example it could be installed on the floor or on the ceiling, to detect the steps of a person or when it raises its hand.