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Osaka U demonstrates its Balloon Input Device
A research group at Osaka University has invented an input device using a balloon. This system recognizes when the user strokes, strikes, or squeezes the balloon, and plays sounds in accordance with those actions.
“The balloon contains a pressure sensor and a microphone, and it recognizes input actions from the data those devices obtain. It detects the distinctive sound of stroking the balloon, or the change in pressure when the balloon is squeezed, to recognize each action.”
“The system can’t recognize where the balloon was stroked. But it can recognize the type of interaction; for example, whether the balloon was hit hard, stroked gently, or poked.”
“We think this system could be used as a communication medium. When communicating with someone at a distance, the user could express affection to the other person by stroking the balloon, or get their attention by poking it. So we think the system could be used as an input device for communicating with other people.”
“Currently, the balloon itself is used as the input device. But we’d like to combine it with an output device, to make the system two-way. And we want to make the system easier to use, by utilizing a more durable object like a beach-ball. We’d also like to try using the kind of balloons you see in balloon art.”
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