Ben Wright

Design Direction

Dan Newman

Creative Direction

Joris Rotteveel & Usha MacDonald

Front End Development

Robin Marshall

Product owner


During the first COVID-19 lockdown in NZ, Springlabs developed Touchless. Touchless kept interactive exhibits alive at a time where people were discouraged from using high-touch public spaces. 

Touchless sought to transform any personal device with an internet connection into a remote control, so that people could operate interactive screens without needing to physically touch the surface.

Ultimately we ended up creating two parts:

  • a web app accessed by scanning a QR code with a personal device
  • a cursor displayed on the interactive screen which is controlled on the personal device. 

The web app and cursor communicate in real time via a local or externally hosted server. 

Communicate connection with a cursor  

Information displayed on the interactive touchscreen lets you know how to connect and provides visual cues to show when a connection is established.

Touchless keeps track of all devices connected to the interactive screen. It also displays instructions for how use the screen once connected.

The remote control UI is accessed by scanning the QR code on the exhibit using a device’s built in camera app or QR code reader. Users can also enter a URL in their browser manually to get started. 

The modular design approach allows for a range of custom inputs to be displayed to match the needs of an exhibit — for example, a canvas for drawing or a text and voice input for search.

The default remote control resembles a joystick and is based on velocity and direction. For cursor-based interactive experiences this gives precise control and allows greater distances to be covered on screen in a shorter amount of time.

Health, safety, and digital inclusion

By removing the physical limits of single touch screens, Touchless allows typical interactive screens to become more digitally inclusive. Multiple users can also take part in the experience at once allowing for new multi-user experiences. 

Touch based exhibits that may not have been able to function under government restrictions could be handled safely with Touchless.

It's quick and easy to implement on existing JavaScript and HTML based exhibits, and visitors bring their own devices without needing to install apps to use it.

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