Augmenting Everyday Objects with Hydroprinted Touch Sensors and Displays

Augmenting everyday objects with interactive input and output surfaces is a long-standing topic in ubiquitous computing and HCI research. Existing approaches, however, fail to leverage the objects’ full potential, particularly in highly curved organic geometries and in diverse visuo-haptic surface properties. We contribute ObjectSkin, a fabrication technique for adding conformal interactive surfaces to rigid and flexible everyday objects. It enables multi-touch sensing and display output that seamlessly integrates with highly curved and irregular geometries. The approach is based on a novel water-transfer process for interactive surfaces. It leverages off-the-shelf hobbyist equipment to fabricate thin, conformal, and translucent electronic circuits that preserve the surface characteristics of everyday objects. It offers two methods, for rapid low-fidelity and versatile high-fidelity prototyping, and is applicable to a wide variety of materials. Results from a series of technical experiments provide insights into the supported object geometries, compatible object materials, and robustness. Seven example cases demonstrate how ObjectSkin makes it possible to leverage geometries, surface properties, and unconventional objects for prototyping novel interactions for ubiquitous computing.