PORTLAND, Ore. Cincinnati-based Somatic Digital unveiled an eTouchBook at this week's (June 9-11) at the Sensors Expo in Rosemont, Ill.
The touch-sensitive book technology combines printed pages with an electronic binding that provides touch sensitivity. Touching the book with a finger activates hyperlinks to Internet resources which then appear on a connected computer. Available for license to book publishers, the eTouchBook has been chosen by such customers as NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
The electronic book binds printed pages into a plastic shell serving as the book's cover as well as housing its electronics. A USB connector in the book's binding allows it to be connected to a computer. As readers turn pages, they touch illustrations or other hyperlinks to activate a universal resource locator, which is sent via the USB cable to the computer for display of associated content.
The electronic book also can determine where in a book a finger is pointing using Freescale Semiconductor's nine-electrode proximity sensor chip and an 8-bit microcontroller. The proximity sensor pinpoints a finger's location even when slightly above the page.
A Touch User Interface also enables blind readers to use Braille printed materials and retrieve linked digital sound or other content.