Motorola has hired the Disney researcher who helped create Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing.
Dr. Ivan Poupyrev worked on the technology, nicknamed ‘Touché’, as part of his work as a principal research scientist at Disney’s Carnegie Mellon university laboratory.
The technology uses a single wire to turn almost any object into a touch-sensitive object.
A Disney Research video showcases the technology as recognising how many fingers are touching objects such as a tray of water, a doorknob, a bowl of cereal and the user’s own hands.
Poupyrev demonstrated the technology to The Verge by making potted plants produce audio and ‘sing’ when touched. The plants could then be played like an instrument by adjusting the position and form of the hands.
Poupyrev will work with Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Products division, which produced the recent Moto X smartphone.
Poupyrev’s recruitment isn’t Motorola’s first acquisition of someone creating futuristic concepts – the company took on Dave Hakken, inventor behind the modular smartphone Phonebloks concept, last October.