Make room, smart mirror: high-tech countertops are coming. Atlas Granite, a Candian countertop company, says MASST turns countertops into touchscreens.
The product will hit the market in 2020.
Using projection lasers and motion sensor technology, MASST (“Making Any Solid Surface Touchscreen”) turns any light-colored, solid surface into a working touchscreen that measures 24-by-18 inches. MASST won the Kitchen & Bath category in the Best of IBS Awards at the 2020 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, and it was also a finalist for “Most Innovative Product.” The company says that thousands of conference-goers stopped by the interactive booth that showcased MASST during IBS.
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“You just swipe your hand and a screen will appear, and you can use that screen just like you would use your iPad. You can search Google on it, watch YouTube recipes, literally anything that you want to do,” Ricky Nayar, CEO of Atlas Granite, says. “The best part is that because it is just a mix of projection light and sensors, your countertop is still like an actual countertop. There’s no film on top of it, nothing extra that can be destroyed or damaged.”
Though Atlas Granite has traditionally focused on standard countertops, Nayar is passionate about innovative technology and he sees the future in smart home compatibility. In 2019, Nayar was invited as guest speaker to talk about smart countertops at the Xiamen International Stone Fair in China, which is the largest stone show worldwide.
“We didn’t want to get left behind,” Nayar says of the trend towards high-tech homes. “So the biggest thing was, okay, ‘Why can’t we have smart countertops?”
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The idea came to Nayar when he bought a mini projector for his wife so she could watch YouTube cooking tutorials in the kitchen without getting her iPad dirty. Though his wife appreciated the projector, she wished that it could be a touchscreen. This planted the seed in Nayar’s mind. After approximately a year of prototyping, Nayar finally had a workable product featuring a plugin connection, android-based processor, cameras, sensors, lasers, and LED lighting.
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In order to use MASST, consumers install a projection unit with the sensor technology into existing cabinetry. Nayar says this involves cutting a hole in the bottom of the cabinets so the laser can reach the countertop. Once the unit is installed, it must be connected to home WiFi in order to work. Although MASST is motion activated, only specific gestures will “wake up” the touchscreen so that it isn’t activated by homeowners walking past. If a user wants MASST to play videos, they can connect it to a speaker via WiFi, the recommended method, or by using cables.
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Once MASST hits the market, Nayar has big plans for it: He imagines use cases beyond residential homes such as restaurants, hospitals, and hotels. Nayar says that Atlas Granite is already looking into incorporating artificial intelligence, including home security systems.
MASST is currently under review in Canada and the United States, and Nayar expects it to come to market officially by mid-2020.
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