Electrick: The Sprayable Touch Interface for Exploration and Play

May 10, 2017

I’m always on the lookout for innovations that can benefit IST’s primary verticals, and this is just might be the cutest one I’ve ever seen.

Electrick is a low-cost, sprayable touch interface developed by the Future Interfaces Group (FIG), an interdisciplinary research lab at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon.

The group had dedicated itself to inventing novel ways for people to interact with technology. "We create new sensing and interface technologies that foster powerful and delightful interactions between humans and computers. These efforts often lie in emerging use modalities, such as wearable computing, touch interaction and gestural interfaces," they claim.

Powerful and delightful? Absolutely. Take a look.


The system is in the prototype phase, so its use examples are still wonky and awkward. Regardless, its potential for whimsical customer experiences is off the charts, particularly with children and other groups who are typically more responsive to tactile expression.

For example, instead of manipulating images on a screen, kids could either interface with the products directly or use a toy proxy. Imagine a kid-friendly restaurant that gives kids a bin of vinyl toys rather than a menu. They could interact with the mock dishes to customize a hamburger or add toppings to a milkshake. The interface would not fundamentally change the mechanics of the interaction, but it would be undeniably more fun.

Of course, Electrick has more practical applications as well, but for anyone in the restaurant or retail space hoping to draw consumers away from online shopping, any cost-effective product that can enhance customer experience is worth a close look. Given the latest numbers, the trends are alarming.

Tim Flavin
Chief Marketing Officer
Email |
LinkedIn |

Further insights on the topic

ARE IconRSPA IconDigital Signage Federation Icon