Human environments are typified by walls -- homes, offices, schools, museums, hospitals and pretty much every indoor context one can imagine has walls. In many cases, they make up a majority of readily accessible indoor surface area, and yet they are static -- their primary function is to be a wall, separating spaces and hiding infrastructure. We present Wall++, a low-cost sensing approach that allows walls to become a smart infrastructure. Instead of merely separating spaces, walls can now enhance rooms with sensing and interactivity. Our wall treatment and sensing hardware can track users' touch and gestures, as well as estimate body pose if they are close. By capturing airborne electromagnetic noise, we can also detect what appliances are active and where they are located. Through a series of evaluations, we demonstrate Wall++ can enable robust room-scale interactive and context-aware applications
Best Paper Award CHI 2018 - "Wall++: Room-Scale Interactive and Context-Aware Sensing"; Yang Zhang, Chouchang (Jack) Yang, Scott E. Hudson, Chris Harrison, and Alanson P. Sample; Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, April 21-26, 2018
NBC News: "New smart wall lets you control your home with swipes, taps" - April 2018
The Verge: "You may soon be able to control your home with a smart wall" - April 2018
Engadget: "Touch-sensitive wall might let you control home devices in the future" - April 2018
Gizmodo: "This Cheap Painting Technique Turns Walls Into Giant Touch Sensors" - May 2018
Architect Magazine: "Transforming Walls into Smart Surfaces" - April 2018
Wall++ originated at Disney Research, Pittsburgh as part of Yang Zhang's summer internship project.