In their COVID—19 information page, both the CDC and the WHO warn people against touching their faces with unwashed hands, since the virus can survive on surfaces. There’s been a rise in the use of touchless technologies as a result, and Singaporean studio Stuck Design envisions a world wherein passengers won’t even have to press elevator buttons with their fingers to get to where they need to go. The studio’s Kinetic Touchless technology can mimic the movement of one’s fingers and recreate the tactile response of pushing a button.
It works by using motion as an input method so it doesn’t need direct contact and can imitate the movement from a distance. The studio says the type of touchless interaction its technology offers can be applied to various gestures, as well. That means buttons using the technology can sink inwards or move outwards if the user makes a pushing or pulling motion. A row of buttons can also follow the user’s finger if they make a sliding movement.
Stuck Design says most touchless interactions that popped up due to COVID-19 use a “static sensor with a light or buzz to indicate an activated button.” It added: “By going beyond the expected feedback of light and sound, Kinetic Touchless provides a surprisingly delightful and yet newly familiar way to interact with contactless technology.” The studio has already created a working prototype, as the GIF above shows, but the technology is still just an experiment at the moment and can’t be found in elevators yet.