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Multi-Touch Topography
More collaborative solutions collected since our last post on übergadgets.

1) SandScape


From MIT Media Lab: “SandScape is a tangible interface for designing and understanding landscapes through a variety of computational simulations using sand. Users view these simulations as they are projected on the surface of a sand model that represents the terrain. The users can choose from a variety of different simulations that highlight either the height, slope, contours, shadows, drainage or aspect of the landscape model.”

2) Jeff Han

Jeff Han

Jeff Han's multi-user interactive solution is “an intuitive, 'interface-free,' touch-driven computer screen, which can be manipulated intuitively with the fingertips, and responds to varying levels of pressure.”

On TED Talks: Jeff Han.

On Flixxy: “'Minority Report' Computing”

And on Adam L. Penenberg, “Can't Touch This” (Feb 2007)

3) Reactable


From the Music Technology Group, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona: “The reactable is a multi-user electro-acoustic music instrument with a tabletop tangible user interface. Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving physical artefacts on the table surface and constructing different audio topologies in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer or graspable flow-controlled programming language.”

On YouTube: Basic demo #1.

More demos here.

4) Courses

Natural Interaction

One of many projects developed at Natural Interaction, Courses is a large space sensing solution wherein multiple visitors are tracked and trigger video events on the floor.

Download movie here.

5) C6 VRAC


What is it? According to Subtopia, “for some, it is a room-sized genetic structure modeling tool. Others use it to engineer preliminary architectural superstructures suspended in hypothetical space, or simulate incredible emergency landings and training flight paths under fake duress.” And then there are those who want to turn it into a War Room.

So, to repeat ourselves yet again, should we soon expect a legion of Sorcerer's Apprentices to appear in studios and offices everywhere, conjuring monumental earth-moving tricks, re-knotting the floodgates of New York to relieve itself of its teeming masses, coaxing the sea to perform arabesque self-similar geogenesis, or maybe divining intercontinental migrating wave gardens from the plains of Illinois just as Paul Duka's score begins its final tempest?

Or perhaps they're bewitching an army of guerrilla gardeners haunting the urban hinterlands, or maybe just presiding over the future Panoptic Arcade, the Super-Versailles, the Kumbh Mela Array, and the 1000-mile Jamarat Spiral? Or with merely the wave of a hand and the flick of a finger, rampaging through historic city centers, ethnic enclaves, squatter cities, and urban Edens like some zoning board urbicidal maniac?

All of the above, obviously.


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