We present FlexSense, a new thin-film, transparent sensing surface based on printed piezoelectric sensors, which can reconstruct complex deformations without the need for any external sensing, such as cameras. FlexSense provides a fully self-contained setup which improves mobility and is not affected from occlusions. Using only a sparse set of sensors, printed on the periphery of the surface substrate, we devise two new algorithms to fully reconstruct the complex deformations of the sheet, using only these sparse sensor measurements. An evaluation shows that both proposed algorithms are capable of reconstructing complex deformations accurately. We demonstrate how FlexSense can be used for a variety of 2.5D interactions, including as a transparent cover for tablets where bending can be performed alongside touch to enable magic lens style effects, layered input, and mode switching, as well as the ability to use our device as a high degree-of-freedom input controller for gaming and beyond.
Christian Rendl, David Kim, Sean Fanello, Patrick Parzer, Christoph Rhemann, Jonathan Taylor, Martin Zirkl, Gregor Scheipl, Thomas Rothländer, Michael Haller, and Shahram Izadi. 2014. FlexSense: a transparent self-sensing deformable surface. In Proceedings of the 27th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 129-138. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2642918.2647405