Haptic technologies firm Ultraleap has launched a new product capable of updating  existing kiosks and touchscreens for interaction in mid-air.

Using the firm’s camera module and hand tracking software alongside the application, touchless gesture control can be added to any screen to create a hygienic alternative.

TouchFree provides touchscreen emulation by detecting a user’s hand in mid-air, converting it to an on-screen cursor, and supporting interaction methods that users are familiar with.

TouchFree is designed to run invisibly on top of existing user interfaces without the need for modifications to existing interfaces and design.

It is being pitched to venues like restaurants, train stations, hotels, museums and airports where heavy use of public touchscreens and kiosks is expected.

According to the firm’s own recent research, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, 80% of people now think public touchscreens are unhygienic and locations are having to adapt.

Steve Cliffe, CEO at Ultraleap, said: “Conventional touchscreens have worked well over the years because of their convenience, but people want to be able to interact with them in ways they perceive to be safe. Our recent research showed that just 50% of consumers were likely to use touchscreens again.

“Our TouchFree is the ideal application to retrofit existing touchscreen-based kiosks for businesses looking to encourage users back, maximise user interaction and ensure customers feel safe.”

Ultraleap has collaborated with more than 20 global kiosk makers, brands and agencies to perfect the application and make it real-world ready.

Jim Cortina, Principal and Director of Development at Cortina Productions and early adopter of TouchFree, added: “We’ve received many requests from our museum clients to turn their touchscreen exhibits into touchless experiences, and fast. TouchFree gives us a viable and customizable solution to interact in a safe and engaging way.”