September 26, 2023


Sapiens Digital

‘Touchless’ Touchscreens – Safe Interface for COVID-19?

A company has launched a new application capable of seamlessly retrofitting existing touchscreens and kiosks to allow customer interface in mid-air, without touching the screen, according to a press release from developer Leap Motion.


Company launches ‘touchless’ touchscreen for no-contact transactions

The new app uses Ultraleap’s camera module combined with hand tracking software to add touchless gesture control — enabling a hygienic alternative amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Touchfree emulates touchscreens via the detection of a user’s hand in mid-air — digitizing the interaction with an on-screen cursor to provide familiar interactive experiences. TouchScreen (the touchless product) is designed to run transparently with already-functioning user interfaces — without modifications to interfaces and designs already in use.

This means the retrofitting phase is minimal and interactions remain simple and easy for customers to use, reports PR Newswire.

Only 50% of users ‘likely to use touchscreens again’

Train stations, hotels, airports, restaurants, and museums rely on heavy use of public kiosks and touchscreens to minimize transaction time — which increases user volumes. Recent research from Ultraleap suggests that while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, 80% of people now consider public touchscreens unhygienic, forcing locations to adapt to the times.

“Conventional touchscreens have worked well over the years because of their convenience, but people want to be able to interact with them in ways they perceive to be safe,” said Ultraleap CEO Steve Cliffe. “Our recent research showed that just 50% of consumers were likely to use touchscreens again. Our TouchFree is the ideal application to retrofit existing touchscreen-based kiosks for businesses looking to encourage users back, maximize user interaction and ensure customers feel safe.”

Multiple industries adapt to COVID-19 precautions

The COVID-19 crisis has caused many industries to rethink technology around the idea of hygiene. Front-line doctors have used mixed and augmented reality to help patients without sacrificing social distance — using Microsoft Hololens headsets.

In March, a hospital ward in Wuhan, China reportedly opened with help from robots — consisting of 12 sets of 5G-enabled intelligent robots working non-stop in the Wuchang field hospital.

As the COVID-19 crisis moves forward, industries beyond the health sector are adapting to precautionary measures like social distancing — in this case, touchless touchscreens to prioritize a feeling of safety.

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