[HyPe] over at the Natural User Interface Group developed this concept as part of his Master’s Degree in Industrial Design. This suitcase sized projector and computer allows people to have a 60″ multitouch screen available wherever there is a large enough surface. The current software is designed for ad-hoc meetings about large-scale construction plans. The rolling case includes a short-throw projector and webcam. Just set it on top of your work surface, lift the lid, and it’s ready to go.
[Johnny Lee]‘s colleague [Paul Dietz] has done some interesting work using interactive tables. He’s specifically researched how to determine how full a drink glass is. In the video above, he’s using Microsoft’s Surface, but this technique should work with any IR camera based multitouch table. Determining the drink level requires custom glassware that has a small prism inside. When the liquid level is above the prism, light passes through, but when it’s below the top it reflects more IR light back into the table. Using this information, restaurant staff could serve drinks in a more efficient manner.
[Paul] has worked on another project that uses RFID and capacitive sensing to a similar effect.
If you’ve got an extra grand laying around, you can pre-order one of [nortd]‘s touchkits. It features a unique custom made acrylic screen with a crap ton of IR LEDs embedded in it. An included IR camera provides the input and a projector (you get to supply your own) is used to light the surface. We mentioned this in our multitouch roundup and you can find a video of it embedded after the break.
Time was, coffee tables were good for three things only: setting down your coffee, setting down your coffee table books, and maybe putting your feet up. To combat this perception, Born Rich has posted their top ten list of high tech coffee tables that are capable of these things and more.
[Christopher Jette] did a amazing job converting a 56″ rear projection television into a multitouch display. His original inspiration came from this drafting table project. The screen is a large sheet of 1/2″ acrylic with a screen material attached to the back side. The screen edge is surrounded by 168 IR LEDs. When a finger tip touches the surface it scatters the LEDs’ IR light. A webcam sees this scattered light and determines where the fingers are. Inside the box is a standard video projector. This is a great reuse of old equipment and we love to see a hobbyist making up ground where manufacturers aren’t. For more info on multitouch projects, we suggest the Natural User Interface Group. Here’s a video of [Christopher]‘s display in action: