The BendDesk is a horizontal and a vertical multi-touch display connected as one curved surface. Think of it as a smart white-board and a multi-touch desk all in one. It can be used to sort and edit information, or to play games. Check out “Bend Invaders”, a game demonstrated in the video after the break. When you touch two fingers to the display the two points are used to aim a laser at the oncoming monsters.
The system uses a combination of two projectors shining on the surface from underneath and behind. A series of LEDs around the edges of the display bathe it in infrared light. Three cameras with IR filters peer at the underside of the acrylic surface and detect touches by distinguishing variances in the IR pattern through a process called Frustrated Total Internal Reflection. If you’re interested in more of the math and science involved there are a couple of papers available from the project site linked at the top of this post.
Bubbloo is an interactive display at the Denver Art Museum. They appear to be embracing a more interactive approach to displaying some of their art and information. One of their displays, shown above, features a pair of projection systems working together to make a game. As you pop the bubbles, the artwork is displayed. You can see it definitely helps keep the kids amused.
While the technology used isn’texactlynew, its a good example of how effective interactive displays can be. Even if they are just there to distract the kids so the parents can look at art.
The floor projection systems don’t seem as though they would be that difficult to make. We’ve seen interactive projection displays using Wiimotes made in peoples homes, but what about one of these? How would you handle the input without an accessory like a light pen or reflective tape? The Wisdom Well uses Frustrated Total Internal Reflection and rear projection. Reactrix, a manufacturer of these systems uses infrared sensors as well as some kind of floor sensor. [Lawrence Lau] has made one, but didn’t post any information. If you make one and let us know.