Its not very often that a completely new interface comes along, even less common is a new interface that actually makes sense. The Balloon Input Device – BID – may just be a little bit of both, a rare whacky idea that may actually work. Using only two sensors the developers detect various actions, squeeze, rub, poke. A pressure sensor measures changes to the air pressure inside the balloon, with changes indicating a squeeze or poke. The microphone is able to detect movement over the balloons surface. A part of the new generation of tactile input devices, the next generation touch interface. At the moment the BID only provides audio feedback when it senses one of the actions but this can easily be redirected to triggering other actions.
“We think this system could be used as a communication medium. When communicating with someone at a distance, the user could express affection to the other person by stroking the balloon, or get their attention by poking it. So we think the system could be used as an input device for communicating with other people.”