Turn Your Tub into a Touchscreen With Aquatop

Technology may be designed to be with you wherever you go, but the one area where your pretty much on your own is the bath.

Sure you can buy waterproof cases, but when you get right down to it, how comfortable are you really with holding your favorite expensive electrical toy mere inches above a pool of water? Even if you do survive an accidental drop, exactly how much submersion can that tablet or smartphone withstand before it’s lost?

That’s the question that keeps most of us from bringing our tech in the tub, and drove a team of developers in Tokyo to use a Kinect, a projector, some speakers, and a home computer to craft an invention that can turn the surface of your tub into a touch screen.

From the user’s perspective, once the device is turned on, they only need to dip their hands into the water to turn them into interface tools. With that in place, you are now able to run files, videos, pictures, and other applications, and interact with them in a manner very similar to how you would with a touchscreen.  There are even special gestures, like the ability to use your thumb and index finger to grasp an icon and drag it around or, even cooler, the ability to fully grasp an item and submerge it to delete it.

The really impressive part about this tech comes through the games however. I advise you skip to about 7:06 in that video above, to see what happens when you combine all of the elements of this tech to produce a game that may be simple (essentially an aerial shooter type), but uses what should be a hindering environment for such a thing as an advantage instead, as you are provided a gaming experience that could be had nowhere else but the bathtub.

Continuing a recent trend on this site, this is a device that isn’t likely to go beyond the prototype stage, but hopefully makes sporadic public appearances in some fashion, as it’s hard to not want to get your feet wet (so to speak) in this technology once you see it in action.