Crafting Project: Retrofitting Touch Display on Mac for Around One Dollar

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Take some cardboard, a small mirror, a hinge and some hot glue. That’s all there is to it, except for a software package that allows you to add just about any MacBook and iMac to a touchscreen. Of course not really, the display remains untouched, yet can be operated with the now presented solution a Mac with his fingers.

Developed by Project Sistine Anish Athalye, Kevin Kwok, Guillermo Webster and Logan Engstrom in about 16 hours. Your idea is as simple as it is ingenious. A small mirror is placed in the correct angle in front of the Mac’s FaceTime camera. The camera image is then directed downwards to detect if the user touches the screen with his finger. The software behind it then calculates the position of the finger from the camera images and converts the result into mouse commands. Previously, the user must calibrate the system once by tapping on predetermined locations of the display.

The project is currently under development and needs a bit more to be ready for the market. So currently not the whole display is recorded and the tracking speed could be significantly better. If you still want to experiment a bit and are familiar with it, you will find the program code on Github. A first look is definitely worth it.

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