Switches installed on our walls allow us to control various things around the home, like the air conditioning, lights, alarm system, sound, and so on. However it seems that researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh are exploring the idea that what if we turned our walls into gigantic switches instead?
In a recently presented research paper, the researchers explore the idea of making our walls touch-sensitive. They have even gone as far as creating a prototype called Wall++ that will be capable of tracking touch, gestures, sense nearby bodies, and also detect and locate nearby appliances (which presumably could then be turned on/off via the wall).
Such an endeavor already sounds expensive, but that’s another area that the researchers were looking at in which they wanted to find an inexpensive way to do this. To that end they tested a variety of conductive paints, decided on how to best apply them, whether or not a topcoat was necessary, and so on.
This is an interesting project where the researchers imagine that the Wall++ could ultimately end up acting as a giant control interface, which like we mentioned earlier could be used to control the gadgets in our home. Imagine swiping any part of the wall to turn lights on and off, or double tapping to open the blinds, and so on. However given that this is currently only a proof-of-concept, we imagine it might be a while before we start seeing it in more homes.