Touchscreen on smartphone is good for most occasions. However, it might not ideal for some situation. To resolve this issue, a group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research has created a few series of accessories named Acoustruments.
The way that Acoustruments work is similar to wind instruments. It is aimed to make smartphone interaction more physical without any Bluetooth or wired connection. The device is made from flexible plastic tubing and it connects smartphone’s speaker to its microphone. The speaker will produce continuous ultrasonic frequencies which is monitor by the speaker. Any action like changing the diameter or length of the plastic tubes will trigger a software action to the smartphone. We cannot hear these ultrasonic frequencies and the plastic tube is designed to minimize the external noise interference.
Testing results show that there is a 99 percent accuracy of controlling the smartphone. Acoustruments can be used as an alarm clock which provide users with the physical on/off switch and snooze button as well as interactive doll which can change its on-screen face whenever you poke its stomach.
Most of you must be thinking that all these are already been done by devices that can connect via Bluetooth, so what is the difference? Acoustruments does not need electrical circuit which other devices need. This makes Acoustruments cheaper as it can be made by using 3D printers, injection molds as well as by hand.