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Forget 24-inch monitors, get yourself a big table

The shape of things to come
Wed Jun 14 2006, 17:29
DO YOURSELF a favour and check out Edward Tse's video of Google Earth and Warcraft 3 running on a multi-user tabletop.

This, quite literally, is brief glimpse into the future, showing Edward using his fingers to zoom, pan, rotate and tilt Google Earth as well as issuing voice commands to undo and, somewhat bizarrely, fly to Boston.

Edward also plays a game of Warcraft 3. He uses his hand to pan across game space and selects units by touching them. The game responds to his voice commands to build barracks and move troops across the land.

If that doesn't impress you, watch the next video where Edward and a bunch of his friends scream loudly into microphones. The tabletop reacts by drawing a bunch of colourful triangular shapes. Probably not very practical but a lot of fun anyway.

Edward's research into natural interaction over large displays is fascinating. His blog answers a number of interesting questions and provides an insight into his explorations.

When the Inq asked Edward about the cost of one of these tabletops, he said that they ranged between $9k and 15k, US currency, depending on the hardware. He said that prices had fallen over the past few years and he expects them to fall further.

Who knows, maybe in 5-10 years you will be using Google Earth 10 on your own tabletop. µ

 

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