Multitoe multitouch floor system promises walkable interface [Video]

Multitouch tables are passé; your feet are where it's at.  Over at Professor Patrick Baudisch's Human Computer Interaction lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute they've been experimenting with using feet to control multitouch systems, but this is far more interesting than the walking piano Tom Hanks played in Big.  In fact, the Multitoe system can not only differentiate between general footsteps and control steps, it can track multiple users and identify them by their feet.Video demo after the cut

Rather than relying on users wearing special shoes, Multitoe uses a frustrated total internal reflection mat that can recognize not only points of contact but measure pressure.  It's the pressure that helps identify between taps and steps, as well as letting the system identify different shoes by their sole patterns, while head tracking and balancing are also used to add to the control.

Apparently it's precise enough to allow for text entry with an on-floor QWERTY keyboard, together with all the usual pop-up rotary controls and contextual menus.  We're not entirely sure what sort of installation Baudisch and his team envisage for Multitoe, but they reckon it's better than a regular multitouch table like Microsoft's Surface because it extends the usable area beyond the reach of your arm.

[via Designboom; images by Kay Herschelmann]