What if an everyday surface, like a table, could be transformed into a rich, interactive surface that can remotely operate things like computers, entertainment systems, and home appliances?
That’s what Michigan Tech Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) researchers Keith Vertanen (CS) and Scott Kuhl (CS) set out to do with a $44,000 seed grant from Electrical and Computer Engineering alumnus Paul Williams ’61.
Vertanen and Kuhl are members of the ICC’s Center for Human-Centered Computing, which integrates art, people, design, technology and human experience in the research of multiple areas of human-centered computing. They were assisted in this research by PhD candidate Siva Krishna Kakula, and undergraduate Zachary Garavet.
The team’s research goals were threefold:
- To create machine learning models that can precisely locate a user’s taps on a surface using only an array of inexpensive surface microphones
- To demonstrate the feasibility and precision of the models by developing a virtual keyboard interface on an ordinary wooden table
- To conduct user studies to validate the system’s usability and performance.
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