Interactive Module can Project a Touchscreen on Virtually any Surface
Vincent Charbonneau posted on May 30, 2019 |
Bosch’s BML100PI module is transforming our conception of touchscreens.
BML100PI module. (Image courtesy of Bosch.)
BML100PI module. (Image courtesy of Bosch.)

What's the latest in consumer display technology? This year has seen innovations such as the folding smartphone, as consumers seek larger displays at a form factor without the bulk. While that technology seems to still have a few kinks to work out, other innovations are creating new opportunities for user experiences.

Bosch, with the introduction of its BML100PI module, has created a means of projecting a virtual touchscreen overlay onto just about any surface type – transforming regular shelves, countertops or even lab benches into interactive workspaces.

The BML100PI functions by generating a laser beam that creates a focus-free image on surfaces, and then scans it line-by-line to detect any gestures or finger movements. No calibrations or adjustments are required for accurate gesture and touch recognition.

One module can provide touchscreen functionality on up to six different surfaces. For example, a single module can project a weather forecast, a user’s daily schedule as well as reminders of upcoming events on to a wardrobe or wall. This information is then processed and appropriate clothing can be recommended to match the weather forecast or planned personal activities for that day.

According to Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch’s Sensortec division, “With this Interactive Projection Module any regular shelf can easily be transformed into a personal assistant for the user, greatly enhancing the level of convenience in people’s daily lives.”

One important feature is that the module can project a sharp image on virtually any type of surface, regardless of whether it is dark, colored, wet, stepped or curved. It can thus provide interactive projection (e.g. in bedrooms, home appliances or kitchen gadgets) where suitable projection surfaces are often lacking.

The BML100PI has low power consumption of typically 2W, and with a footprint of 47mm x 43mm, it is smaller than a credit card. This allows manufacturers to more easily integrate it into existing smart home appliances. The company also offers the BML100P variant, which provides the same projection features but without the touch functionality.

Interested in learning more about the growing complexity of touchscreen development? Check out this article about bringing texture to touchscreens. 

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