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Andrew Orr

Since 2015 Andrew has been writing about Apple, privacy, security, and at one point even Android. You can find him most places online under the username @andrewornot.

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Carnegie Mellon Research Team Created Touchpad Paint

What if you could spray paint a piece of plastic or wood, and use it as a Magic Trackpad? Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University have created touchpad paint, which can turn any object or surface into a touch sensitive one. It’s a project called Electrick. It’s based on an algorithm that can read a finger press by sensing changes in electric flow on a conductive surface, called electric field tomography. The team attached electrodes to an object covered in the paint, and were able to figure out where a touch was tapped. Professor Chris Harrison, head of Carnegie Mellon’s Future Interfaces Group, said the cost was “way under US$1 per square foot.” There are some limitations, such as not being able to do multi-touch. But that could change in the future. You can read the team’s research paper for more.