Hate teamwork? All that constant talking, discussing and brainstorming can sometimes get in the way of doing real work, in addition to giving you a headache, draining your energy and killing your creativity. Why does collaboration have to be so difficult?
Enter the MisTable. It is a collaborative tabletop display like no other. With personal screens made from a curtain of mist, it allows multiple users to move and manipulate 2D and 3D images horizontally and vertically.
The whole set-up is designed to facilitate teamwork while at the same time optimising the experience for each individual user.
MisTable is the creation of Bristol Interaction and Graphics of the University of Bristol, UK. The creators felt that while conventional tabletop screens encouraged collaboration, they were too static and could not customise the views for each user around the table.
Conventional tabletop device
This limitation was overcome by providing a personal space between the user and the tabletop in the form of a see-through display, which also allows the user to physically reach through it to interact with the table.
More interestingly, being a reach-through display means users can poke their hands right through the personal screen and interact with 3D content.
Watch the video to see the MisTable in action:
“Users can be aware of each other's actions and can easily switch between interacting with the personal screen to the tabletop surface or the interaction section,” says Professor Sriram Subramanian, the project leader. “This allows users to break in or out of shared tasks and switch between ‘individual’ and ‘group’ work,”
MisTable offers three interactive spaces in one package.
The tabletop becomes a space for shared 2D interaction:
Personal mist screens hold personal 2D tasks:
And the space above the tabletop supports 3D contents/interaction:
Thus all team members get to do their own thing while still having a peripheral awareness of other users and tasks.
The entire system is made up of a Kinect motion-sensing input device, FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) tabletop, Leap Motion Controller, fog machines and projectors.
MisTable addresses some of the biggest buzzkills of the 21st century workplace: The need to stare at a screen all day, being trapped in boring and unproductive meetings, and uninspiring technology that limits human interaction.
And it does all of this by using the oldest trick in the book: Making work more like play.
For more information on MisTable, please visit: http://big.cs.bris.ac.uk/projects/mistable.