To make it to Engadget, CNet or Mashable (and of course, Vulcan Post) it takes a tech company to be really different. So, when Ractiv made it to those platforms, it clearly proved that it has done something extremely innovative. Ractiv, a Singapore-based company, has made it possible to turn any surface into a touchscreen! Incredible, right?
Before I explain in detail, watch this video. If an image speaks a thousand words, a video probably speaks a million.
What are those excellent features?
As you have probably understood from the video, you can simply touch any surface to perform any computational task. Typing, gaming, using the trackpad or the mouse, surfing, zooming, shrinking and even turning off the PC or the laptop. MultiTouch is allowed as well.
In simpler words, by using Ractiv Touch+, you can do what you can do with a modern smartphone or tablet or phablet. So, if you ever wish that your traditional keyboard starts behaving like Swype keyboard, like on an Android, all you need is a Touch+.
How does it work?
It’s actually a brilliant yet very simple concept. Touch+ has two cameras, ‘eyes’ to watch your hand and fingers. Once you place the hand under the cameras, it does a 3D scanning of the finger positions and projects the hand on the computer screen. You can now start believing that you have a touch screen under your palm as from now on Touch+ tracks the movement of the hand and moves the projection accordingly on the screen. With your virtual hand moving on the computer screen, feel free to type, tap, touch or multitouch anything on the computer as the projection will mimic this movement and perform the tasks.
Easy peasy, isn’t it? Also, very comfortable when we really don’t want to move much after coming home from work and trying to watch the TV from the sofa. Also, this handy gadget works with almost any smart device as Touch+ doesn’t need any custom-made app to run.
Who are the other competitors?
However, this concept of making any surface a touch screen isn’t really new. Check out what UBI has to offer and it came at least 1 year before Ractiv. However, it works only with Windows and the price is absurd. Vulcan Post has also covered another similar gadget which can transform any wall into a touchscreen, the TouchPico projector, which is also Singapore-made!
Another competitor can be Airtype. However, it is made mostly for typing on any surface. It simply projects the keyboard on the surface and lets you type.
There is another type of hardware, which is basically a screen over the traditional PC or laptop screen to make it totally touchscreen. It works on any OS (a huge advantage), you can type using the on-screen keyboard and it is very easy to implement. However, unless your on-screen keyboard has the Swype facility or unless your OS has the zoom feature, it is not possible to achieve those easily.
Touch+ is coming for $74.99 (+$10 for international shipping for buyers who are not from Singapore), comes with 6 months warranty and supports Windows and OSX. Although I personally would have loved at least 12 months warranty but the low price can compensate for that.
Question is, with similar projects already going on around the world, how far Ractiv can make it? No matter how good the product or the project is, we have seen brilliant ideas go to the grave early. Ractiv has a lot of obstacles to overcome to prove their worth, and time will tell if they manage to succeed in the c