Asukanet develops a futuristic touchscreen technology that has the potential to help protect privacy in public computer terminals.
It’s called as the Aerial Imaging (AI) Plate, and as its name implies, it is a glass plate that comes with a system that allows input and access of the “floating” image that it produces, kind of like what you see regularly in science fiction titles. You can literally point and touch the screen that it projects in front of you to browse and access content.
The technology achieves optimization of the image projection technique of the AI plate by using a set of sensors. Though the screen concept looks quite good, they have modestly explained that it is actually more like “watching a surface-plastered 2D image” than what you actually see in movies. Also, since it’s still a new concept, image quality is still quite subpar. Nevertheless, being able to interact with the images it projects in midair sure feels very futuristic.
There is also another bonus feature to their floating screen: it can only be seen by the person who is more or less exactly in front of the terminal. Their screen only has a limited viewing angle of about 20 degrees from a 45-degree axis to the plate. Unintended or not, this feature can be very important in places where data input can be sensitive and even risky. In bank ATMs for example, if the technology is implemented with a random numpad display system, it could help protect private information, and keep users from getting their passwords and other security data seen or taken.
The technology is still largely at the development phase. However, Asukanet already has big plans once it becomes fully developed. They are currently eyeing on the possibilities of such floating screens being used for advertisements, as menus in restaurants or even as standard home access interface terminals.