Orooni table

Interactive table

Although the Touch project is primarily about NFC and mobile phones, we recently created a table-based interface. Why have we done this? Because it’s a quick demonstrator of near-field interactions in a setup that is instantly accessible.

Our intentions are:

  1. To probe the perceived relationships between physical characters and their digital counterparts. It isn’t yet clear to us what kinds of interactions people will want between physical things and digital content. This is an important question for user-centred interactions with the Internet of Things.
  2. To investigate the embedding of RFID in physical objects, from an industrial design and material technology perspective.
  1. To uncover opportunities for new interactions that are possible with limited-range RFID such as that found in NFC phones and contactless ticketing.

    Our demonstrator is similar in functionality to the Symbolic table by Mediamatic, but very different in content and behaviour. It also draws on long history of research and projects in table-based interfaces.

    Preparing for printRFID in 3D print

    The set-up involves a table with multiple RFID readers under a glass surface, physical characters (animals, birds, figures, robots and dinosaurs) and a large screen. Each character has a unique digital identity through an embedded RFID. When a character is brought into contact with a certain point, it triggers specific animated behaviours on a large screen. These behaviours are from Orooni and are typical Instant Message (IM) status like hug, angry, happy, sick, sad, etc.

    The characters have been designed by PhD student Kjetil Nordby and rapid prototyped using the selective laser sintering machines at AHO. Programming and the screen-based interface were created by Orooni.

    It has been remarkably quick to prototype; we have spent three weeks from concept to delivery and a week building the demonstrator. It is rapid prototyping in a broad sense: materials from IKEA, computation from Apple, off the shelf Phidgets and connectivity through USB. The software is also relatively simple, triggering events based on combinations of IDs and readers.

    We are rolling out the demonstrator this weekend at Forskningstorget where it will be used by hundreds (if not thousands) of people. We’ll post more about our experience soon.

    Related things:

    1. iPhone RFID: object-based media This is a video prototype of an iPhone media player that uses physical objects to control media playback. It is based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) that triggers various iPhone interactions when in the......
    2. The RFID photo booth At last year’s Picnic conference we created a networked Photo Booth as part of the Mediamatic RFID hackers camp. Picnic is a conference with about two thousand attendees and multiple venues in the Westergasfabriek......
    3. Skål: playing with media Skål (Norwegian for bowl) is a product that has emerged from the Bowl project. It is a media player designed for the home that acts as the interface between physical objects and related digital......
    4. RFID peripherals Plug and play RFID-reading USB peripherals are all the rage, as indicated by a stream of recent product announcements. These readers plug into a PC and make various things happen when they are touched......
    5. Forskningstorget 2006 Touch is demonstrating some initial experiments with RFID, table based interfaces and rapid prototyped toys at Forskningstorget 2006. This is taking place on the 22 and 23 September in Universitetsplassen, at the end of......

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