ThermoPainter, developed by Daisuke Iwai and other researchers at Osaka University, is a device that allows people to paint using the thermal vision technology. ThermoPainter can detect temperature change regions on a sensing surface as touch regions when objects hotter or colder than the surface touch it. In the system, users can use a physical paintbrush with hot water and an airbrush with cold water in spite of paint as they use in the real world, and even use their own fingers, hands, and breaths directly because of their own body heat.
The system is designed for painting, but this “input by temperature” approach can of course be used for other kinds of things. So far the researchers also experimented with temperature-based shape deformation, showing the potential of subtle effects that analog temperature fields and digital processing together create. Another interesting example is 3D shape editor — a user touches part of the 3D object on screen, then the heat from her hand makes the hand-covered part softer, allowing her to deform the softened part using a mouse. Here’s a video clip.
via Digital Stadium