‘Extending the Touchscreen’ is an ITP Thesis project by Michael Knuepfel which includes seven devices designed to improve upon or supplement the functionality of capacitance touchscreens; game controller, digital signet rings, mechanical stylus, sound stylus, pulse generator, dial-a-rama and future devices.
Touchscreens like those found on smartphones and tablets have enabled a new generation of versatile user interfaces. My thesis project, Extending the Touchscreen, aims to further this versatility by using conductive materials to construct a series of physical, mechanical, and electrical devices that touch, interact and communicate directly through the touchscreen interface. My goal in constructing these external devices is to make touchscreen interactions more tactile, physical and potentially more expressive and fun.
Instead of utilising USB connection to extend the functionality of iPad and iPhone, the devices rely on the software, simple light senors or magnets to allow objects to communicate between each other. Some devices are just used as tools to unlock the iphone for example, others allow robot like objects to behave in a certain way by ‘reading’ information from iPad’s screen. See video for more + follow Michael’s blog for updates.