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Bristol University develops Minority Report style computer displays made of mist

It's like a physical snapchat
Mon Apr 14 2014, 14:40
Bristol uni Mistable

A COMPUTER DISPLAY made from a curtain of mist has been developed by the University of Bristol, allowing users to move images around and push through fog screens and onto the display.

Due to be unveiled later this month, the research is dubbed "Mistable" and has been shown off in a video embedded below. The ephemeral invention comprises of a conventional interactive table with personal screens using fog, a Kinect and a Leap Motion Controller.

Led by professor Sriram Subramanian and Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia from the University of Bristol's Department of Computer Science, the project claims that the development could change the way people interact and collaborate in the future.

"These personal screens are both see-through and reach-through. The see-through feature provides direct line of sight of the personal screen and the elements behind it on the tabletop," the university said on its website. "The reach-through feature 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 content on the screen, 3D content above the tabletop, or supplementing and renewing actual objects differently for each user.

"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," said professor of Human-Computer Interaction Sriram Subramanian. "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."

Subramanian noted that users can also move content freely between these interaction spaces, allowing them to share it with others or to get exclusive ownership over it.

With the new system, the university said that having personal screens for each user allows the view of each of the users to be customised to them, so it could almost be the new physical Snapchat. µ


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