100″ Multitouch Table, EM Spectrum Exhibit

Update: October 28, 2009. See a new post with video and images of the 100″ table in action.

We’ve begun work on our most ambitious multitouch exhibit to date. We are building a 100″ table for Adventure Science Center’s Sudekum Planetarium in Nashville, Tennessee. The design is based on our MT2 multitouch table. For this custom installation, we are doubling the current form factor to create our largest multitouch surface to date. Of course, doubling the size involves a number of significant changes.

The 100″ multitouch table will use two high-resolution projectors, yielding a combined resolution of 2500 x 720. The two projected images will be blended together using a specialized video card producing a seamless 7:2 ratio, ultra-wide screen image.

The table design has been modified to include a contiguous glass surface with rounded edges and wrap around powder-coated black panels. Underneath, bright blue LED lights provide “ground effects.” We’ve been working with Adventure Science Center and our design partners at Ralph Applebaum and Associates to finalize the look of the 100″ table.

100-multitouch-table-cropped

The exhibit will be multitouch and multiuser. The table will present a representation of the electromagnetic spectrum from Radio to Gamma-Rays. The visible spectrum appears in the center of the table.

Visitors (up to 8 or more simultaneously) will be able interact with images of terrestrial and celestial  objects that appear on the table surface. Visitors can rotate, scale and move the images across the table. As images pass from one wavelength to another, a new image is revealed showing the object as it appears in the new wavelength.  Contextual metadata will allow visitors to learn more about the image(s) they are interacting with.

The exhibit can be approached from either side.  Wavelength “drawers” can be popped-out revealing more information about the wavelength the visitor is exploring.

We’re using Natural User Interface’s Snowflake software for optical support and for “blob tracking.” The exhibit uses two computers.  One will do blob tracking, recognizing visitors finger tips on the table surface. The other computer will run the EM spectrum application, which we are developing in Adobe Flash. We’ll post more about this exhibit as we continue to make progress.

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