MisTable: Reach-Through Interfaces
Floating interfaces made from 'curtains of mist' have been added to a conventional interactive table, offering new opportunities for collaboration.
The MisTable has been developed by researchers at Bristol University's Department of Computer Science in the UK, and will be unveiled later this month at ACM CHI 2014 in Toronto – a leading conference on human-computer interfaces.
Sriram Subramanian, one of the lead researchers, said: "The personal screen provides direct line of sight and access to the different interaction spaces. 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."
Sensors and smart projectors allow hovering images on the ethereal interface to be bounced from one mist-screen to another or shared with the interactive tabletop with the flick of a hand. 3D images can be rotated and moved around with a finger, while floating text can be 'tagged' to physical objects within the display.
The combination of gesture and touch controls on the mist and table interfaces is a step towards the seamless and immersive interface experiences the tech industry is striving for.
The MisTable will be unveiled alongside other prototype interactive and collaborative interfaces at the conference, including a double-sided touch display called TransWall from Korea, and a grid-based interactive table called InGrid.
For further insight into the future of intuitive interfaces, see The New User Interface and Touch-Free Tech. For more on perceptual computing and human computer interfaces, see Next Wave of Computing – part of our reporting on this year's South by Southwest tech festival.