Apple has blurred the lines between iOS and macOS in recent years, but it has stopped short of launching a touchscreen MacBook.
Perhaps due to an unwillingness to cannibalise the iPad market, Apple has shied away from enabling Mac users to paw those lovely retina displays.
Using the MacBook’s webcam, a mirror, a door hinge, some paper and a few lines of code that registers the reflection of the finger and its proximity to the display, the developers were able to interact with their Mac by touching the screen.
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One of the developers behind Project Sistine, Anish Athatye, said: “Surfaces viewed from an angle tend to look shiny, and you can tell if a finger is touching the surface by checking if it’s touching its own reflection.”
The prototype took just 16 hours to build and you can see some of the videos of how it was done on Anish’s website.
Whether the developers look to sell the low-cost hardware and app as a solution for those desperate for their Macs to be touch-enabled remains to be seen.
The developers concluded that, with a few adjustments, it could be a practical solution.
Athatye wrote: “Project Sistine is a proof-of-concept that turns a laptop into a touchscreen using only $1 of hardware, and for a prototype, it works pretty well! With some simple modifications such as a higher resolution webcam (ours was 480p) and a curved mirror that allows the webcam to capture the entire screen, Sistine could become a practical low-cost touchscreen system.”
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