Free app turns public screens touchless for Covid-19 

Free app turns public screens touchless for Covid-19 

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Ultraleap (Bristol, UK) has launched a free application to retrofit existing kiosks and touchscreens with a touchless interface to be Covid-19 compliant.

TouchFree combines Ultraleap’s camera module and hand tracking software alongside the free application to add touchless gesture control to any screen.

TouchFree provides touchscreen emulation by detecting a user’s hand in mid-air, converting it to an on-screen cursor, and supporting interaction methods that users are familiar with. TouchFree is designed to run invisibly on top of existing user interfaces without the need for modifications to existing interfaces and design, means downtime to retrofit is kept minimal, interactions remain familiar, and the system continues to be easy for consumers to use.

Restaurants, train stations, hotels, museums and airports rely heavily on public touchscreens and kiosks to help reduce transaction time, enhance shopping experiences and handle higher volumes. According to recent Ultraleap research, while the Covid-19 pandemic continues on, 80 percent of people now think public touchscreens are unhygienic and locations are having to adapt.  

 “Conventional touchscreens have worked well over the years because of their convenience, but people want to be able to interact with them in ways they perceive to be safe. Our recent research showed that just 50% of consumers were likely to use touchscreens again,” said Steve Cliffe, CEO at Ultraleap which last year merged with US sensor developer Leap Motion.

Next: Free app download to tackle Covid-19 

The Bristol-based company now employs over 150 people across Europe, North America and Asia and is the first to offer the full vertical stack of software and hardware to enable spatial computing for the automotive, out of home, industrial, XR, entertainment and medical sectors.  

“TouchFree is the ideal application to retrofit existing touchscreen-based kiosks for businesses looking to encourage users back, maximise user interaction and ensure customers feel safe,” said Cliffe. 

Ultraleap has collaborated with over 20 global kiosk makers, brands and agencies to perfect the application and make it real-world ready including Cortina Productions and Intuiface before making it widely available.

“We’ve received many requests from our museum clients to turn their touchscreen exhibits into touchless experiences, and fast. TouchFree gives us a viable and customizable solution to interact in a safe and engaging way,” said Jim Cortina, Principal and Director of Development at Cortina Productions and early adopter of TouchFree. 

TouchFree is available to download for free here.  

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