A really cool project out of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute puts multitouch under foot.

The project isn’t just a toe pointing game, but it tracks feet completely, allowing people to be read by the soles of their shoe and where and how they are stepping.

We based our design on frustrated total internal reflection because its ability to sense pressure allows the device to see users’ soles when applied to a floor. We demonstrate how this allows us to recognize foot postures and to identify users.

These two functions form the basis of our system. They allow the floor to ignore inactive users, identify and track users based on their shoes, enable high-precision interaction, invoke menus, as well as track heads and allow users to control several multiple degrees of freedom by balancing their feet.

The possibilities for this type of technology could be limitless, even a little floor mat could tune to your favorite radio station, fire up your show on the DVR or start your nightly routine in any way you wish.

And with different settings for the whole family, you can tweak it into infinity.

Sure it’s a concept and I’ll probably never have one, but for multitouch — it’s certainly an interesting step.

[Via Hasso Plattner Institute]

Nick Upton

I write words.

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