05 Mar Touch Table by wireframe studios
Wireframe Studios produced this 5m long interactive multi-touch table for a museum in Saudi Arabia. The hardware was built here in SA in the wireframe studio as well as software and shipped to Saudi in wooden crates. It’s great to see a real execution of the Microsoft Surface interface that we’ve only seen promo videos about.
check out some more screenshots of the table in action here.
This is what they said about it:
Wireframe Studio (together with technology partner Formula-D with whom we share our studio space) were commissioned to develop over 20 interactive exhibits for a Science and Technology museum in Saudi Arabia – part of a newly opened university.
The flagship exhibit is a 5 metre multi-touch table allowing multiple users to interact at the same time and displays an interactive timeline of Islamic contributions to science and technology over a 1500 year period. We took it upon ourselves to build the hardware from scratch as we had previously built a large format multi-touch screen for another project and figured ‘how hard can it be?’. The table surface is illuminated from below by over 30 infra-red lights and uses 12 infra-red tracking cameras to pick up touches on the table, driving this are 3 quad processor computers connected to 6 short throw projectors (all built into the base of the table). The software was developed in flash using a live socket connection to sync the 3 machines (as we have animations that span the entire table). We had a number of challenges, the main being a very tight deadline of less than 6 months (for all 22 exhibits), a serious technology learning curve and not least of which having to display content in both English and Arabic (considering Arabs read everything from back to front this did present an interesting design challenge!).
Apart from the 5 metre touch table other exhibits included a 1 metre square multi-touch table allowing users to design their own Arabesque patterns using simple tiles that they could combine and lock together to create their own patterns, a portrait mounted 56 inch touch screen whereby a user drags an on-screen magnifying glass over an illustrated human body revealing early Islamic knowledge of human anotomy, a wall mounted sliding plasma screen engaging a pulley system allowing the user to drag the screen from left to right to navigate/scroll through content, a top down projection onto a resin based relief surface with contours showing an animation of how early Islamic settlements were formed and grew over time as well as a numner of uniquely designed touch screen applications covering a wide range different topics.