In Brief

Technology from Carnegie Mellon and Disney Research turns walls into interactive surfaces that connect to lights, appliances and other devices

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research are exploring the possibilities of “smart walls” that can command household electronics and appliances with a tap or swipe of the hand. Unlike existing smart home devices, like Amazon Echo, that utilize voice recognition, or new security systems that rely on facial recognition, The Wall++ operates via touch.

Beyond its ability to control lighting, music and video games, The Wall++ has even more advanced intelligence. This allows it to sense the presence of people, as well as adjust resources to conserve energy—for example, dimming the lights when the TV is on. Users of existing smart home equipment will also be able to connect those devices, so they can execute commands seamlessly.

The Wall++ is made possible through conductive paint and electrodes, and its cost is currently projected to be around $20 per square meter. Researchers are in talks to make the product commercially available, since the technology makes its installation fairly complicated, even for construction professionals.

Carnegie Mellon | Disney Research

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research are exploring the possibilities of “smart walls” that can command household electronics and appliances with a tap or swipe of the hand. Unlike existing smart home devices, like Amazon Echo, that utilize voice recognition, or new security systems that rely on facial recognition, The Wall++ operates via touch.

Beyond its ability to control lighting, music and video games, The Wall++ has even more advanced intelligence. This allows it to sense the presence of people, as well as adjust resources to conserve energy—for example, dimming the lights when the TV is on. Users of existing smart home equipment will also be able to connect those devices, so they can execute commands seamlessly.