An innovative new touchscreen technology has been unveiled in Finland, and one might call it very, very cool – ice-cold, even.
I’m going to be honest: I really don’t know much about Finland other than what I learned from that Monty Python song and that awesome sniper dude. Given its location on the globe, though, I imagine Finland during the winter as a frigid, inhospitable iceland (but not, you know, actually Iceland) where modern-day residents understand the value of warm clothing and central heating.
I also imagine they understand that they can do some pretty cool things with all that surplus ice that they’re bound to have up there. Like, say, turn it into one giant touchscreen.
Researchers at mobile giant Nokia took a literal ton of ice, cut it into blocks and polished it smooth with a heat gun. They then worked their funky Finnish magic and beamed near-infrared light into the ice blocks. The light was then interpreted by a computer program in order to create the first touchscreen-slash-ice-sculpture in existence.
“This was a playful experiment, but one that we think showed interactive computing interfaces can now be built anywhere,” says Jyri Huopaniemi of Nokia, whose Tampere-based team constructed the touchscreen, which they called Ubice – or ubiquitous ice (see? I told you it was everywhere).
I think we can all agree that this project is, in fact, pretty darn cool. And now, it calls for some Foreigner.