Portugal-based Displax calls this a “multitouch skin” which can be thinner than paper. The company has been working on it for the past decade and plans to launch commercial products in July
Displax is revealing a new plastic film with multitouch sensing. It can be placed over any display or even non-display surfaces, making them into interactive devices
It works like this. Displax places a grid of nanowires that can detect the presence of up to 16 fingers (on a 50-inch screen) at any given time (that number will go up over time). When you press your finger on the grid, which is embedded in plastic, the wires send a signal showing the exact location of your finger to a controller, which can then pass the data to a computer. The plastic film can be applied to a liquid crystal display, even after the display is built. Currently, capacitive multitouch sensors have to be built into the TV’s glass during the manufacturing process. The screens can even detect if someone blows on a surface.
Among the ideas are museum kiosks, multitouch flat-panel TVs, multitouch tables, and even interactive glass windows for storefronts. You could wrap it around a globe and then point at certain countries to trigger a video or audio explanation of the region. There are also expected applications in gaming. Fonseca said there are a number of pilot projects using the technology in Europe. Industries that could use it include telecom, retail, real estate, broadcast, pharmaceutics, finance and games