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MisTable Fog Display Like SeaQuest DSV

The MisTable display is the creation of a team led by Professor Sriram Subramanian and Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia from the University of Bristol’s Department of Computer Science. This tabletop system combines a conventional interactive table with personal screens, built using fog, between the user and the tabletop surface.

Sriram Subramanian, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, in the University’s Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, said: “MisTable broadens the potential of conventional tables in many novel and unique ways. 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. This allows users to break in or out of shared tasks and switch between “individual” and “group” work.

“Users can also move content freely between these interaction spaces. Moving content between the tabletop and the personal screen allow users to share it with others or to get exclusive ownership over it. The research team believe MisTable could support new forms of interaction and collaboration in the future.”
(Via University of Bristol press release)


(MisTable reach-through display video)

MisTable is a tabletop system that combines a conventional horizontal interactive surface with personal screens between the user and the tabletop surface. These personal screens, built using fog, are both see-through and reach-through. Being see-through provides direct line of sight of the personal screen and the elements behind it on the tabletop. Being reach-through allows the user to switch from interacting with the personal screen to reaching through it to interact with the tabletop or the space above it.

The personal screen allows a range of customisations and novel interactions such as presenting 2D personal contents on the screen, 3D contents above the tabletop or augmenting and relighting tangible objects differently for each user. Besides, having a personal screen for each user allows us to customise the view of each of them according to their identity or preferences.

Finally, the personal screens preserve all well-established tabletop interaction techniques like touch and tangible interactions. We explore the challenges in building such a reach-through system through a proof-of-concept implementation and discuss the possibilities afforded by the system.
(Via MisTable project)

Update 13-Jan-2024: Science fiction fans may recall the earliest example that I know about, the tabletop display from An Adventure in Time, by Francis Flagg, published by Science Wonder Stories in 1930. End update.

Fans of the 1993-96 series SeaQuest DSV recall the tabletop display that Captain Bridger (played by Roy Scheider) had in his cabin.


(SeaQuest DSV display)

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