Seeing the Wind

Example Concept

Human activities can introduce variations in various environmental cues, such as light and sound, which can serve as inputs for interfaces. However, one often overlooked aspect is the airflow variation caused by these activities, which presents challenges in detection and utilization due to its intangible nature. In this paper, we have unveiled an approach using mist to capture invisible airflow variations, rendering them detectable by Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors. We investigate the capability of this sensing technique under different types of mist or smoke, as well as the impact of airflow speed. To illustrate the feasibility of this concept, we created a prototype using a humidifier and demonstrated its capability to recognize motions. On this basis, we introduce potential applications, discuss inherent limitations, and provide design lessons grounded in mist-based airflow sensing.