Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ariane 5 Technology Turns The Lights On

Date:
February 25, 2005
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
Soon we may be able to fill the bath, turn the lights on and play our favourite CD without moving from our chair or pressing a button. Technology, developed by ESA for European spacecraft, is now being used to create small sensors that can make any flat surface – walls, windows or tables – interactive.

The shop 'Illumina' in Paris has installed the ReverSys technology on the outside of one of their principal shop windows. Shoppers can choose a light fitting and turn it on and off by lightly tapping on a panel on the window. This enables shoppers to see and compare the effect of the light fittings even in the evening when the shop is closed.
Credit: s: Sensitive Object

Soon we may be able to fill the bath, turn the lights on and play our favourite CD without moving from our chair or pressing a button. Technology, developed by ESA for European spacecraft, is now being used to create small sensors that can make any flat surface – walls, windows or tables – interactive.

Related Articles


"The idea is to use an accelerometer to determine the exact position of touch on an object,” says Nicolas Delorme from Nodal Consultants, part of ESA's Technology Transfer Programme's (TTP) network of technology brokers. “For example, an accelerometer can determine exactly which part of the interactive surface on a window or a door has been touched, making the surface as sensitive as keys on a keyboard."

Accelerometers are used in combination with gyroscopes onboard Ariane launchers for the inertial positioning system and to kick-off the pyro-technic switches that control the fuelling of the boosters. They are also used on satellites to determine the exact position of the spacecraft. As they are used in space, these systems have to be extremely accurate.

"This technology is at the heart of ReverSys, an innovation which could revolutionise how we consider the objects around us and how we use them,” Nicolas Delorme adds.

ReverSys

Ros-Kiri Ing, President and Founder of Sensitive Object, the company that developed and patented ReverSys, received assistance from ESA's TTP technology broker Nodal Consultants who carried out market research for them and identified technology and partners.

"Our patented technology is based on recognising the sound waves propagated in an object when it is tapped at a precise location," says Ros-Kiri Ing.

Just as fingerprints are unique, a tap on a flat surface gives an acoustic signature that is unique for the specific point of impact, as the waves emitted are diffused differently from a tap even a few centimetres away. This property was discovered thanks to a physical process called 'temporal reversal' which precisely identifies the point of source of emitted waves.

"I had the idea of associating this signature with an action and creating a sort of virtual command table. The association is managed by a computer programme that links touch at a specific location to a specific action. A small sensor, the accelerometer, placed nearby, then detects the sound waves and analyses their acoustic signature. If the signature is recognised, the intended action is executed, if not, nothing happens," Ros-Kiri Ing explains.

ReverSys technology can be used with most solid materials: glass, wood, steel, even a brick wall. Sensitive control panels can be placed at any location on a surface to create an interactive human-machine interface. It also has a number of important advantages:

* it is wireless and cable-free and can be integrated onto any surface

* it does not require any modification to the surface

* it is aesthetic and fits with any decor

* it can easily be re-programmed to reposition the sensitive zones

* it is simple to operate

* it can be easily moved

Ros-Kiri Ing explains: "In a bathroom, for example, ReverSys could be used to put a control panel on the edge of the bath or even in the shower, with the sensor placed nearby, away from the water. If the control panel needs to be moved to a new position or a new command needs to be added then it’s no problem. There is no need to touch the sensor, with the help of computer it is a simple matter to modify the system and define new sensitive zones.”

This certainly has many advantages for home owners; for instance, the controls for the lights in a room could be moved without having to change the wiring. A big advantage when fixing up an old house or changing the way a room is used.

"When I first saw Ros-Kiri Ing demonstrating his system I was really impressed. In just minutes, he managed to turn a simple white-board into an interactive device, controlling the playback of music on the computer," says Pierre Brisson, who as head of ESA's Technology Transfer and Promotion Office has seen hundreds of examples of how well space technology can be used to make life on Earth easier.

"Who would have thought that the technology we use in the Ariane launchers could simplify the way we turn on a light?”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Ariane 5 Technology Turns The Lights On." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223165053.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2005, February 25). Ariane 5 Technology Turns The Lights On. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223165053.htm
European Space Agency. "Ariane 5 Technology Turns The Lights On." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223165053.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Sony's glasses module attaches to the temples of various eye- and sunglasses to add a display and wireless connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the cameras will be distributed starting Jan. 1. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins