Touch screens became ubiquitous. They replaced electro-mechanical keyboards and scrolling wheels. But the very action that sets them into action remained mechanical. It is a touch of a finger. TRIZ teaches that mechanical actions have to be replaced by electrical or optical ones. The questions arises: how a mechanical touch of a screen could be replaced by an electrical or an optical action ?
One possibility is to somehow enable touch screens to feel a finger at a distance, without a direct contact. For example, a finger might radiate a field, which could be felt by the screen.
Another possibility is that finger is replaced by eye and touching is replaced by gazing. This would result in a pure optical scheme. A user stares into a point of a touch screen and that point (pixel) feels that the eye has focused on it and reacts accordingly ! How could this be done ?
People feel if somebody looks at them. On many occasions I observed as people turned their heads towards me as soon as I started looking at them, although initially their faces were pointed into another direction. How do humans (and animals) feel that they are beeing watched ? There is definitely some physics involved here. This physics has to be analyzed and understood.
It is well known that eye has an ability to feel movements of objects on the left or right of it even if the eye does not look directly at these objects and does not see them (in the conventional sense of this word). It is reasonable to assume that when somebody on your left or right (whom you actually do not see) starts gazing at you, movements of his eyeballs and changing in their shape are captured by the lateral vision of your eyes. This causes your head to turn. The movements of somebody's eyeballs when he focuses on you should be different from their movements when he focuses on something else. Otherwise your eyes would not be able to recognize them and signal your brain to turn your head into his direction.
The algorithms of how eye recognizes another eye focusing on it have to be discovered. These algorithms have to be programmed and run by smart pixels of screens. This will convert them from touch screens into screens feeling glance of a user, which would made screens ever smarter and people ever happier.
If you will it, it is no fairytale !
Season Greetings and Happy New Year by the way !