The Future of Contactless Touch
We spoke with Atsushi Ishii, VP Engineering at Neonode, who develops contactless touch technologies. We asked for his take on the future of contactless touch, how he sees the technology developing, and how Neonode solutions can advance a touch-free world.
Atsushi Ishii, VP Engineering at Neonode
Can you start by explaining the current work you do in relation to contactless touch and how it benefits end users?
Our current work is mainly related to providing technology for Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) for safety and end-customer satisfaction. The need and demand for Neonode technology, specifically contactless touch, has been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic so our mission is to provide great technical building blocks allowing a smooth and fast shift to contactless experiences.
As a developer of contactless touch technology, how do you see it evolving in future?
Contactless technology has been around for quite a while with applications such as NFC payments - but the entire contactless experience is not fully developed since people still must insert their PIN code on a physical keypad.
Contactless touch is always in transition. Generally speaking, our customers usually start out with a retrofit solution so they don’t need to replace their existing products or equipment, and it requires minimal effort to change the user interface to execute the intended task. Over time, things organically evolve and new designs are created in a way that the entire machine interaction becomes completely contactless.
Here at Neonode we create innovative technology allowing the optimal human-to-machine interaction for end-customer satisfaction. We always want the answer to be ‘yes’ when we ask ourselves: did we solve the customer problem in an optimal way?
How do you work with design-thinking?
Design-thinking is crucial to create and invent technology that solves real world problems with an optimal experience for the end-customers.
Where do you see opportunities for contactless touch where it is not being used today?
With regards to new opportunities for contactless touch, I would like to phrase it as contactless interaction as this encapsulates the many more ways where the technology can be used.
For example, our Multisensing technology is a great solution for two-directional communication between human and machine using eye-tracking. A great use for this is within the advertising industry. Today, advertisements and billboards are mainly one-directional. With Neonode technology we can make it possible to gauge the users interest based on where and how long they look at certain content - without sacrificing our personal integrity (GDPR). Advertisers can then adapt the ad experience when someone is looking at it.
With your experience in R&D, what external factors and/or technologies do you think will have the most significant impact on the future of contactless touch?
Fusion of different technologies will be crucial for optimal human-machine interaction. One example is the payment PIN-pad; Neonode can add interaction to existing payment technology by replacing the physical keypad with a holographic PIN-pad with randomized numbers, which increases both hygiene and data safety.
We approach the industry from two angles - touch and scene analysis - to create the optimal technology for contactless touch and to allow our integrators to offer the end-customer the best experience to get the job done.
How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) be used to improve contactless touch experiences?
AI is really powerful if used and implemented correctly. AI has allowed us to solve technical challenges more efficiently and it helps to give more useful information that creates more value to the end-customer. We do a lot of AI for the remote sensing solution.
Many companies report seeing an uplift in sales after implementing personalized digital experiences. How can businesses create personalized touchless experiences, and ultimately improve profitability?
Our Multisensing technology is the optimal technology to create personalized digital experiences without sacrificing privacy/integrity. Everything is done with best-in-class computational power needs. The information our Multisensing can provide to personalize the digital experience will be a game changer for the entire industry.
Could we go one better than personalization and include predictive technology to forecast user behavior?
Our Multisensing technology already has this feature. It can learn your behavior and the machines can use this information to adapt accordingly for optimal end-customer experience.
Are there any competitive technologies that could compete with contactless touch?
The obvious one is to use our smartphones to control and interact with machines but, me personally I already have too many apps on my smartphone, and I prefer to at least keep some of my behavior pattern to myself. With our technology, deployment of contactless is simple and cost efficient, it allows great UX, retrofitting, and it keeps people’s privacy/integrity intact.
What is the coolest/most ingenious way you have seen contactless touch used?
…it’s in the pipeline but not yet seen in public. Watch this space!