The Most Important Research Ever Conducted Finds that Touchscreens Can Detect Baked Good

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    • #405822
      • Total Posts: 7,887

      The capacitive technology that allows us to physically interact with touchscreens isn’t just limited to our fingers or a fancy stylus. Hopefully, someone somewhere is polishing up a Nobel Prize because a researcher discovered that pastries work with touchscreens too, and with some clever baking techniques, an iPad is finally able to recognize your breakfast muffin.

      Florian Heller, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Expertise Center for Digital Media at Hasselt University in Belgium, realized that the electrical field of the capacitive layer of a touchscreen display could be altered by conductive materials other than human skin and metal. Baked goods, especially when fresh out of the oven, contain enough moisture and humidity to be electrically conductive, which is all that’s needed for a capacitive touchscreen interaction to be acknowledged.

      Because capacitive touchscreens can recognize multiple points of touch at the same time, Heller was able to design a series of different footprint patterns that allow a device like an iPad to tell different baked goods apart.

      So why would someone want to go to all this trouble? While the research could realize some fun personalization opportunities (a message from your partner could start playing on your tablet during breakfast) there are some practical applications like using the touchpoints as a way to identify the ingredients of a specific pastry, including potential allergens, by simply plopping it down on your phone’s screen. As an informational tool, it could also provide details on a pastry’s calorie count, the presence of animal products, or it could simply trigger a link to the recipe so if you really enjoyed the danish you got with your morning coffee, you could make it yourself at home later while you’re scrubbing grease marks off your iPad’s screen.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #405864
      NV Wino
      • Total Posts: 6,747

      Because that was my first thought: pastry goop on my screen.

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #405913
      Bernie Boomer
      • Total Posts: 382

      They probably got a grant to do this research.
      I wish there was a ‘greater good’ bar that was higher than the ‘will this make somebody money’ bar on grant applications.

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