As consumer technology convergence starts folding in a whole array of lighting, home entertainment and automation systems, even so-called universal remotes often fail to be intuitive to use. So the researchers at Media Interaction Lab turned to a whole new approach by utilizing a huge touchscreen table GUI that should be easily understandable by anyone who has used an iPhone or seen the Microsoft Surface concept and opens up a whole new world of controlling your home tech from the comfort of your couch...
"The amount of digital appliances and media found in domestic environments has risen drastically over the last decade, for example, digital TVs, DVD and Blu-ray players, digital picture frames, digital gaming systems, electronically moveable window blinds, and robotic vacuum cleaners. As these devices become more compatible to Internet and wireless networking (e.g. Internet-ready TVs, streaming digital picture frames, and WiFi gaming systems, such as Nintendo's Wii and Sony's Playstation) and as networking and WiFi home infrastructures become more prevalent, new opportunities arise for developing centralized control of these myriad devices and media into so called "Universal remote controls". However, many remote controls lack intuitive interfaces for mapping control functions to the device intended being controlled. This often results in trial and error button pressing, or experimentation with graphical user interface (GUI) controls, before a user achieves their intended action.
To address this issue, CRISTAL was developed. CRISTAL simplifies the control of our digital devices in and around the living room. The system provides a novel experience for controlling devices in a home environment by enabling users to directly interact with those devices on a live video image of their living room using multi-touch gestures on a digital tabletop."
More videos, photos and details about CRISTAL at Media Interaction Lab.
[via Hacked Gadgets]