Turn every table into an Interactive Social Surface
TableViewer is a research project into accessible and familiar interfaces for a multi-touch surface ambient computer. The hardware of the TableViewer is currently in its 3rd iteration. Software for the TableViewer is constantly being tested and prototyped.
The TableViewer is an interactive table-top computer system. The TableViewer can be hung from the ceiling like a lamp to turn any dull surface into a sparkling social interactive interface. The contraption consists of an infrared camera, a computer, a beamer and smart software connecting those parts together. Objects on the surface underneath the TableViewer can thus be turned into tangible interactive objects.
As a product the TableViewer is a work in progress. Currently we’re working on the 3rd iteration of the hardware product. At the same time the TableViewer is also a set of software components, which are being improved and updated continuously. Lastly we provide the TableViewer as a service, for which the system can be temporarily installed, running tailor made software targeted to the event.
We wanted to create a physical computing framework for interactive social experiences. Despite the dispersion of digital devices in our daily lives –laptop, smart phones, HD displays– we still miss strong social usage of these technologies in the real world. The TableViewer should act as a social bridge between the physical and the virtual.
We envision an environment which helps ad-hoc groups of people who find themselves in the same location / venue / event to compare their opinions and standpoints. This would allow them to depart on an shared exploration or discussion based on the data provided. We rather build for multi-user than for multi-touch per se.
There is a plethora of possible applications for the TableViewer. For now our key focus area is playful social exploration of shared interests, since we believe the TableViewer especially shines in this context.
We have been working on the following applications:
- Social Music Recommendation
- For the Music Hack Day 2010 in Amsterdam, we’ve developed a concept demo in which people can compare their music tastes and see where the overlaps and where the holes are. The TableViewer would be a turn-taking jukebox with tangible interactions and nice visuals for all users and spectators.
- Neighborhood Map
- For the festival ‘Nacht van het Water’ in Schiedam in 2010, we’ve developed a prototype of an interactive map, on which the visitors could visualize their home location and their favorite location in the neighborhood. The interactive behavior of the table and the meaningful visuals sparked lively discussions and conversations amongst the participants.
(Not currently updated …)
Come and visit the ‘Nacht van het Water’ festival on saturday September 11th 2010 in Schiedam, to play with the latest prototype of our TableViewer. We mapped out the favorite park locations of inhabitants of the ‘Plantage’ neighborhood in Schiedam.
- Video’s / Photo’s
We provide the TableViewer Service of installing the system on a temporary location. We also produce tailor made software, specifically suited for your application or event, upon request. Please contact us for more information and quotes.
1. Why don’t you use a multi-touch surface?
The construction of most multi-touch surfaces are not ergonomically adept, since they don’t allow you to have your legs under the table. Therefor most rear-projected multi-touch table constructions are build on standing height, so people can lean on it, but not sit at it. When you can project on any existing surface from above, you don’t have this problem. The TableViewer can be used on any existing table without ergonomic constraints.
Furthermore we don’t want to limit the interaction of the users by fear or caution of expensive equipment. You won’t easily put drinks or food on top of a iPad or Surface table. Because the TableViewer physically moves this threat out of the way of the user, he or she can interact much more freely.
- Visit our development portal
- Contribute a bug / feature request