Touch Input Possibilities


Hey! I don’t have my looking glass and won’t for a while yet, but I have seen a demo and I have been thinking a lot about it. Specifically, I’ve been wondering what a compelling interaction could look like.

There is already well documented Leap controller integration (and I’m getting one), and using the accelerometer on the Joy-Con controller looks great! But both of these have their limitations - I don’t like the lack of haptic feedback on the Leap, and tilting is kind of awkward unless you build some kind of mount! I know there are buttons on the front and you can hook up whatever you like to your usb port, but the 3d nature seems to call out for something more tactile.

I’ve been thinking touch might be a good way to interact. At first it seemed like a bad idea. It wouldn’t work in the way we’re used to touch - as a kind of mouse pointer substitute you use to select, drag, and drop - as you can’t reach “inside” the screen to accurately touch what you intend to. But I do think that being able to detect a tap on the front could open up all sorts of possibilities.

But I’m not sure how this could be managed. I’ve been Googling various overlays that will add a touch layer to an existing monitor, but as the size of the looking glass (I’m thinking the small version) is non standard there don’t seem to be any good options.

This is probably close, and they say they will do a custom size, but that could get pricey and I’m not sure how to attach it or what size would actually be best.

Does anybody have any thoughts?


I think slapping a commodity touch screen like the one you linked to should work pretty well!
You will have to probably make some kind of ‘calibrator’ for it so that touches align, but that’s all I can think of.
We did do something similar when we worked on Volume, and I thought it worked well.

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I would also say that you could try messing around with the AirBar. We’ve done some internal testing with this. It’s very easy to implement, but I will say that the size doesn’t work particularly well on the Standard Looking Glass because it’s too large!

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That looks interesting! Cheap, too. I guess you would have to write some code to translate the touch input to the looking glass surface. Did you try doing that, or was it not necessary?


Unfortunately the smaller size seems to be out of stock everywhere. Discontinued?


Oof, that’s no good. You may have to contact them directly, I’m not sure.

As for translating the touch input, you do need to do that but it’s a fairly simple remap as long as the position of the airbar is stable. So, if you put it directly in the middle and directly beneath, you should be able to remap the position you’re reading in from the mouse cursor. If you end up getting one and need help with it, let me know!

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I tried looking in from the top and sides to see if fingers on the front are visible (due to some kind of “frustrated total internal reflection” [] stuff) but I could not see my fingertips. Maybe someone with more optical knowledge could think about it – is it possible that a camera looking up from underneath could detect front surface touches?