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Metaio’s ‘Thermal Touch’ technology turns everything into a touchscreen

For the particularly tactile tech user, the world is about to get a whole lot more touchable.

The German tech company Metaio recently demonstrated its new “Thermal Touch” interface, which turns just about anything into a touchscreen.  It’s the latest jump forward in the field of augmented reality, which aims to incorporate computer-generated images into the natural world.

All you need for Thermal Touch is a thermal camera and a working finger.  Simply hook up the camera to any device you’re wearing, such as Google Glass or other type of smart eyewear, and then get to touching.  The infrared camera can track the lingering heat signature your finger leaves behind, using it to activate digital content in your glasses’ heads up display.

So if you’re reading a magazine while wearing Thermal Touch, you can touch one of the items you like and all of its pricing information will appear on your screen.  Or you can even go to the website where you can buy it.

Metaio said that their technology is meant to provide a solution for users looking for the best way to utilize their wearable tech devices.

“In the last two years, we’ve seen that head-worn devices are coming to the marketplace,” said Dr. Thomas Alt, CEO and co-founder of Metaio.  “What has been unsolved, though, is how are we interacting with these head worn devices.  This is why Metaio has invented the Thermal Touch technology, which makes any physical object around you a touchable object.”

Thermal Touch is still in the research and development phase, and representatives for the company think the technology is still about five years away from being available the general public. 

In the meantime, users can start practicing for the technology’s release by touching everything that they see.

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Loren Grush
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Loren Grush is a science and health writer living in New York City, having written for Fox News Health, Fox News SciTech and…
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