With the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, a new problem emerged for the interactive experience industry. It quickly became clear that fears of contracting disease from touching shared surfaces could jeopardize the effectiveness of millions of public-facing touchscreens globally. As a team with a long history of designing advanced touch-driven installations, we heard from clients worried about the safety of their shared displays. They all had the same question: how could they make their clients, customers, and visitors feel comfortable using these high-value (and significant-investment) interactive installations again?
Many in the industry had suggested providing PPE for safer interaction with touchscreens, but given global shortages it was clear that this solution couldn’t scale. We also knew that retrofitting touchscreen experiences with gestural inputs would be expensive and time-consuming, requiring new hardware and significant redesign of the user interface. Turning off the systems was not an option, as it would mean squandering the valuable resources our clients had invested in developing.
As we struggled with this dilemma, we realized that the ubiquity of smartphones could hold a solution. We quickly developed an entirely software-based touchless interaction solution that would allow for control of touchscreens from personal phones. With a little prototyping and a lot of planning, our team moved quickly from proof-of-concept to robust product in a matter of months. The result is Freetouch, the world’s most feature-rich and easy to install touchless interface technology. From museum interactives to common-use check-in kiosks at airports to corporate experience centers to health care and hospital check-in systems and beyond, our award-winning product is providing safe, touchless experiences for touch-averse individuals worldwide.