Knock Out The Lights

by Gordon Meyer

Related link:

Anne Eisenberg's article at the New York Times discusses a new technology that turns windows, doors, and other sold surfaces into touch-sensitive input devices.

Perhaps in the future, instead of reaching for the remote control to change channels, you'll give the nearby end table a little rap. Or, mute your teen's iTunes server by knocking on the wall. (Yelling "Turn that noise down!" will be entirely optional.)

The mind reels at both the possible applications for home automation, and the resulting confusion as one struggles to remember the knock-sequences and sweet spot, that trigger commands.

Visit Sensitive Object to view an intriguing, if not mildly puzzling, demonstration video.

What do you think? (Please, no knock-knock jokes.)


2004-07-08 07:26:06
read the Guide
Douglas Adams describes the system in its extremity in an episode of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where he has someone sitting completely still in front of a radio.
Every slightest movement will do something like change channels or volume so no movement is possible if you want your listening experience to remain the same.

The episode is ended when someone throws a pencil through the space monitored by the device in lue of an on/off button...

2004-07-08 07:48:03
My grandparents, since the 80's, had a lamp inside a plantbox. You could control the light by touching the plant's petals. They had all other sorts of touchable technology, so obviously this is nothing new - just seems that no one has bothered to think of new/interesting uses for it.