TouchWood puts versatile, unobtrusive interfaces inside your desk, table and walls – ClearTips
Everything we do seems to be an affiliate app these days, and throughout the day they shed light on your attention, pinging and the ways they need it. TouchWood seeks to reduce this tedious non-stop competition with a cool, simplified interface built into the natural materials of your desk or wall.
Co-founders Matthew Diverman and Gaurav Asthana were fed up with the idea that making your home or workplace smarter usually means adding more material: A smart speaker that sits at your desk, a smart watch constantly tells you your step count, a smart fridge that slips ads into the morning routine. Not only this, these devices and apps are constantly attracting you to do what you want to do, be it work or effort. No to work.
They wanted (they tell me) something like an enchanted sword from Lord of the Rings: it’s just a sword 99 percent of the time, but it’s an oracle radar, when you need it, and still It just glows. Why doesn’t the digital world only appear in the same way when you need it, and is possible in the least objectionable fashion?
Diverman first worked in high-end furniture design, and Asthana developed the idea of interacting with the technique “later through a slab of wood instead of apes”.
“What we have built is a modular tech platform that uses high-intensity LEDs with capacitive touch sensing. This allows us to be embedded in essentially opaque material, ”explained Dervman. “Wall, countertop, desk, at home, office, retail, transportation, we see many ways to provide information and completely invisible control.”
The surface will look completely normal when the display is turned off, and indeed it is. Mui Labs, which showcased its natural materials performance at CES, requires a particularly perforated wood surface that you might not want to serve over coffee. A touchwood display is just that: wood – or many other common surface materials.
This is not for a second display, but a favorable overflow to the avalanche information that is presented to us through our desktops, laptops and phones … and speakers, clocks, coffee makers, robot dogs, and so on Kind.
Asthana said, “We are not trying to put a computer on one surface – we want to provide you with a better touchpoint for your existing devices, which enhances their capabilities by removing the information pressure imposed on them is.”
Perhaps you, like me, constantly flick your eyes towards the tab in your browser, or apps appear at the bottom of your screen to see if there’s a change – a new email, a message on Slack, a calendar item . A Touch Wood desk lets those information take alternate routes, such as when you put your coffee or mouse. Tap it there and get a summary, or go to the content, or swipe it away – but you never have to switch tabs, or go to another app, or unlock your phone. And when it is done, the desk is again a piece of wood.
Dworman sees infection as natural. “The way we know them, the touchscreen is really only for 10 or 11 years. But because they are so ubiquitous that we are ready to take them, ”he said. “When you watch sci-fi movies, this technology is still being used after 500 years in the future! But it should not be. In terms of car, the iPhone is now like the Model T. “
Touchwood eventually aims to be a platform, but this requires launching its own product first. It plans for a nice seating / stand desk with two large display areas available next year for somewhere in the $ 2,000 area. Expensive, yes – but you may be surprised at what people will happily spend on new furniture, especially like a key component of a new important home office.
After proving the concept with a flagship product, they can start working their way into other niches and with partners. Embedding an invisible display on a countertop, wall, or of course a restaurant table leads to all kinds of use cases. Here’s hoping that Touchwood’s technology will bring a little less screen to it in the future – at least the ones we can see.