Close your eyes and imagine how it would feel to go for a swim inside your iPad’s touchscreen. It could be a little like the surreal, interactive “AquaTop display” experience, created by researchers at the University of Tokyo Electro Communications Laboratory.
The prototype model is just a tank of water, but the plan is for the AquaTop to turn your everyday bathtub into an immersive touchscreen, allowing the bather to watch movies, look at photos, and play games.
Unlike your typical touchscreen, the user doesn’t just have control from above the screen’s surface. It’s designed so that you can feel like a part of the screen. Because the touch-sensing area extends a few centimeters below the water's surface, the system responds to a variety of commands including scooping water, waving your arm across the water, “pulling” images underwater to delete them and “clicking” with one, two, or three fingers from both above and below the surface.