Students from Carnegie Mellon University have created a smart wall. Photo: Facebook
DURBAN - Experiments by Carnegie Mellon University have shown that it is possible to turn ordinary walls into smart surfaces.

These smart surfaces can respond to taps, swipes and even gestures to control appliances, video games and various smart home devices.

A high-tech "Wall++" smart wall may look like an ordinary wall but instead, it can be used as a floor-to-ceiling track-pad.

Yang Zhang, a member of the research team who conducted the experiments, said that users can control lighting or music play by double tapping on the walls or through swipe gestures.

According to the research document, the Wall++ is a low-cost sensing technique that can turn ordinary walls into smart infrastructure that can sense interactions and activities happening in a room and potentially an entire building.

The new smart wall can also spot and answer intelligently to the activity of electrical appliances like adjusting the lights in a room when the TV is on.

It can also sense when a person is in a room as well as track people wearing certain electronic devices that give off an electromagnetic signature.

Some of the limitations of the Wall++ include cost.

According to the research, the recommended materials and antenna pattern cost $21,30 (R264,76) per m2 for the walls that were used in the project.

The technology is less expensive than normal touchscreen technology, however, it can be expensive for a home that has 100m2 wall.