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"A South London school has improved its academic results by using innovative technology to encourage children to learn." (view video)
A video of the SMART Table at BETT 2009 was also shown on the 6:00pm news. From the video: "It's the technology show that tries to convince teachers that gadgets can play an ever bigger part in learning. Hundreds of firms are trying to sell their equipment to schools. This is one of the latest innovations: a table computer with a touch screen interface that allows the teacher and individual pupils to construct a lesson together." -Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC (see video at 0:57)
"A SMART Technologies representative told us that they want the SMART Table to be considered OS agnostic--everyone would have the same SMART Table experience regardless of the underlying hardware and OS. The SMART Table should be available sometime in the Spring of 2009 and is expected to sell for around $8,000 in North America to educational institutions." (view article)
"As much fun as it is to tinker with Microsoft's multitouch Surface table, most of its applications have been decidedly gimmicky. By offering a lower price (sooner than MS), more compact design, and more complete suite of software, SmartTech wants to bring multitouch tables to the people who would probably most appreciate them — kids. From the video (and press release), it looks as if the SMART Table has a nearly identical — if not better — set of capabilities to the Surface: multitouch, gesture support, a 27in screen and a super-simple SDK." (view article)
"Teachers can customize activities on the tablet by using the SMART Table Toolkit on their PC or Mac. The new activities are then saved onto a USB bracelet and plugged into the table for activity synchronization. Smart Tech is also offering free apps and activities for download on its education website. Not a bad buy if you're a teacher (the education website also helps you request grants to buy one), or if you're just a parent that wants to seriously one-up that little Leapfrog Crammer the Jones' got their kid." (view article)
SMART pulls the cloth off multitouch table for school kids
"Determined to make us jealous that our kids' childhood experiences are more marvelous than ours, SMART Technologies will tomorrow unveil the SMART Table, a primary education "interactive learning center"...It'll be available Spring of next year, and will work out of the box with learning applications that can be operated by any number of kids and all their fingers. Other classroom multitouch devices are on the horizon, but most of them are a little further from market than this Canadian contraption, which includes custom lesson plans, gesture support and a (touted but unspecified) wide viewing angle." (view article)
Kids-on with the SMART Table
"We got to play around with a SMART Table in a classroom full of lucky kids at Haines Elementary School in Chicago this morning, and we came away impressed with how much they loved it. The multitouch table is built on the same basic idea and hardware as Microsoft Surface -- Vista PC, XGA projector, infrared camera -- but it's a custom patented SMART design, not Surface lite or anything like that... obviously the company will be targeting school systems with its extensive SMART Board sales network, but well-off parents will be able to score one for their hopelessly spoiled darling children as well. Check a few vids of the table in action after the break." (view article)
SMART Table 50-inch multitouch Interactive Display Panel
"The last time we ran into SMART Table, they were demoing a very sturdy multitouch table to a group of schoolkids in Chicago, but they're here at Macworld with some sexier tech -- 50-inch and 65-inch multitouch plasma screens that interface with any OS X machine. The tech allows you to use the screen just like the built-in multitouch trackpad on newer MacBooks, so it works in basically any app, and while it's super-pricey (they just smiled and said "thousands" when we asked), the main cost is the screen and not the touchpanel, so we could see it come down to earth sometime soon. Check the video after the break." (view article)
SMART Table now available in North America and UK
"We heard that the SMART Table would be ready for playtime in Spring of 2009, and here she is, a few months early. The kid-friendly multitouch table is now available for purchase in North America and the United Kingdom, and as expected, it's being marketed towards educational institutions looking for new and exciting ways to help kids learn. The 230i (the only model currently offered) weighs in at 150 pounds and features an XGA DLP projector, integrated speakers, an inbuilt digital camera to track touches and multitouch capabilities courtesy of DViT (Digital Vision Touch) technology." (view article)
"Here’s the first multi-touch, multi-user device for teaching early childhood skills. Like the surface, you can drag things around the surface and play word and picture games with multiple people just by dragging images around the screen. Most importantly, however? It wasn’t created by Microsoft." (view article)
"Well here’s the first multi-touch, multi-user device for teaching early childhood skills. Like the surface, you can drag things around the surface and play word and picture games with multiple people just by dragging images around the screen. The table launches on Thursday and will cost an actually amazingly inexpensive $7,000." (view article)
A 3 minute clip of multimodal co-located interaction appeared on CBC news television on December 21, 2007. From the video: "Three video segments of multimodal tabletop interaction have appeared on local Calgary news. A quote from the video: "having two people use a personal computer at the same time is about as satifyfing as sharing a steering wheel: only one person gets to drive... As these students demonstrate, rather than a keyboad or a mouse: voice commands or gestures [Warcraft move here]. Video games especially Nintendo's Wii are already leading the way [Sims tree stamping]... This kind of research is going on around the world the aim is someday people will collaborate and the supporting technology will be invisible." Dave Sims CBC News Calgary.
Video [ Link ]
Three video segments of multimodal tabletop interaction have appeared on local Calgary news. A quote from the video: "If you're in to gadgets you'll love the technology being created at a calgary company called Smart Technologies. Its designed such spectacular devices they're being used by NASA the US Military and in Board Rooms around the world... what some of Calgary's most creative minds are up to. University of Calgary researchers are some of the brains behind the devices: Smart Technologies white boards operate with the touch of a finger or a voice commands allowing people to direct action on a screen without buttons or menus." - Please note that Smart Technologies currently does not offer any voice enabled software, the video reports on the Speech and Gesture actions on the MERL Diamond Touch table.
The local newspapers have also picked up an article on our multimodal research. An interesting quote from Sheelagh Carpendale: "You'll notice there's no menus or keyboards - everything is operating by touch and voice commands. We always start by observing people and then find ways to apply technology and software." [ pdf ]
New University Television has posted a video of my research. From the video a nice quote from Saul Greenberg: "When most people think of computers they think of the desktop screen something about this big (with a) mouse and keyboard and yet what's happening today is we're seeing other computers. We're seeing cell phones, pdas, ipods, and we're also seeing plasma and tvs. What's going to happen over the next 20 years is that the different sizes of screens such as tables, very large displays, such as those produced by Smart will become the new way of thinking about technology. We try to envision what people will be doing on surfaces such as these because it will be more than just watching television." [ original ].[ video ]
Live demonstrations of multi user multimodal tabletop interaction over existing single user applications (The Sims, Virtual Surgery, Google Earth, Warcraft III) have been shown at both Siggraph 2006 and Wired Nextfest. Wired Nextfest also featured some (speech and gesture augmented) mammography radiology and patient record prototypes developed by GE Healthcare.
The Warcraft III and Google Earth video was 19th place of the Google Video Top 100 internationally on June 14th, 2006. Again, I'd like to emphasize what I said in my blog: it's not about publicity, rather the message is that this research is getting out to the general public rather than just the research community.
My goal is to change the way the world interacts with computers. Current operating systems lock us into interaction paradigms developed by Engelbart in the 1960s. I believe that computers will be more effective for people if they are aware of the natural interactions that people do in everyday life. Even if tabletop technololgies do not pan out, I see a lot of areas where our interaction with computers could be improved and I am excited about the future! (view video)
I wanted to highlight some of the international coverage that this research has received. Every couple of days an international web site will pick up the tabletop gaming research and feature it in an article. This week was PC Inpact from France. For those familiar with French the article states: "Google Earth et WC III sauce Minority Report: On m'a toujours dit que je ressemblais à Tom Cruise...La démonstration porte d'abord sur une petite visite avec Google Earth, avec zoom in/out, vues 3D et autres fonctionnalités apportées par le logiciel d'e-cartographie comme le calcul de distance entre un point A et un point B. La seconde partie relate une partie de War Craft III, où le maître du jeu commande sa petite armée au doigt et à l'oeil. Se dessine ainsi une nouvelle interface, manipulable par plusieurs personnes à la fois." -Marc Rees, PC Inpact, France (view article)
From the Dutch article on Dutch Cowboys "Op't weblog van Edward Tse, een Phd-student die zichzelf 'Interactions Inventor' noemt, staat een fraaie toepassing van wat je met een tabletop kunt. Aan de hand van Google Earth en de populaire multiplayer-game World of Warcraft, laat hij zien wat spraaktechnolgie en 'n touchscreen kunnen toevoegen aan de toch al indrukwekkende applicaties. De video van Edward Tse duurt 4 minuten." -Paul Aelen, Dutch Cowboys, Netherlands (view article)
Digg and The Inquirer are websites geared for the general public that generate a significant amount of daily traffic. Thus, when my research was placed onto Digg and The Inquirer the number of visits to edwardtse.com site increased a hundred fold (10'000+ unique visits a day). A quotation from a Digg member: "Hi, I found your google video on digg.com. You research is fascinating. You are leading us to a world of Minority Report-style input, and I can't wait to see what else you create! That quote on your website about the future not being evenly distributed is spot on. I live in NYC in a 90 year old building and am reminded of that frequently. It may take 100 years for tabletop or wall panel computing to be as common as running water, but it will come thanks to people like you. Great work" -Jeff Nosanov, Digg.com member (view article)
From the Inquirer article: "Forget 24-inch monitors, get yourself a big table. 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." -Peter Sbarski, The Inquirer (view article)
From the Search Engine Watch article: "Expect a Google job offer to be coming, Edward. Expect that tabletop display to be showing up in the Googleplex, which has been woefully lacking in cool stuff for visitors lately. The Google search query display in the lobby, the map showing search activity around the world, the lava lamps, the white board with the Google Master Plan (see here and here). Old news. Besides, you can interactively play Warcraft III on the table, as well." -Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch (view article)
From the Kotaku Article: "Still, if anyone could ever design an RTS for such a doohickey, this might lift the bar enough for me to shatter my knees limboing under the bar of abject RTS mediocrity." -Florian Eckhardt, Kotaku (view article)
This research has been featured in an article from the Associated Press and Yahoo! News. From the article "The technology also has been combined with voice-recognition technology for a video game in which digital images of tanks scuttled across a desert landscape on the tabletop display. The player, pretending to be a commander, can control movement by tapping the display and shouting commands... The technology will become even more commonplace as more software is developed, said Yuji Mitani, who has written a book on touch-panel technology and heads the consulting and manufacturing company Touch Panel Laboratories near Tokyo." -Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer (view article)
Please note that we did not build a voice recognition technology with tanks scuttled across a desert landscape, the reporter saw our Warcraft III video and some other application related to the military and assumed that they were the same system.
Professional videos of our research system have been produced and recently aired on National Geographic Channel. A brief excerpt from the video: "At a laboratory in Massachusetts, Scientists are on a man hunt for a criminal. an FBI wanted poster arrives from Headquarters, the wanted man's name is Thomans O'Connor. O'Connor has commited bank fraud embezelling hundreds of millions of dollars from banks around the world. They enter O'Connor's face into the recognition database. Using facial recognition software tied to millions of web cams placed on streets and buildings around the world a global hunt begins... (Fly To Boston, Layer Banks features shown over Google Earth)
Thousands of web cams scan for a glimpse of O'Connor, and then, pay dirt. A sensor goes off, a camera spots O'Connor in the hallway of a bank building. He walked this hallway only seconds before. They have found his face amidst a sea of millions of other faces. From the control room they dispatch patrol units to the scene and make the arrest. This control room is fictional but all these technologies already exist, they just haven't been brought together, yet. When they are it will be nearly impossible for an undisguised face to go undetected." (view preview)
PC Gamer UK, has published an article about our research on multimodal multiplayer tabletop gaming. An excerpt from the article: "It changes everything and nothing: it's the same game, just far more controllable and intuitive. The table recognizes what shape the hand is making, so coding it to respond to different positions makes the game incredibly controllable. A flat palm on the screen will let you scroll around on the map. Drop your fingers on to a lich, shout "attack here" and watch the battle unfold with all the pride of a commander... If you've ever played a Nintendo DS, you'll have loved the immediacy of the mini-touchscreen on the little device. Now imagine how PC gaming could benefit from a future where we're all stroking Stroggs with our little fingers and zooming in and out with just the wave of a hand." -Craig Pearson, PC Gamer
(to view article click left image)
PC Zone, a print gaming magazine in the UK published an article about our research on digital tabletop gaming. An excerpt from the article: "Researchers at Mitsubishi recently built Diamond Touch, a table that plays Warcraft III via gestures and speech - a video of which can be found on this month's DVD. Pan the map with your hand, select units with a single finger or scream orders at your troops. Edward Tse...elaborates: "Diamond Touch's hand gestures provide a feeling similar to manipulating physical objects such as a gun in an arcade. In one example, we show two people using their hand to pick up a digital table in The Sims." Interior designing for (The Sims) is, however, topped by gathering your mates around (a large display) and shouting like your in a Washington war room. "Table-top games are not replacements for mouse and keyboards" Tse adds. "Rather, they represent a new genre of gaming where people can interact face-to-face rather than looking away from each other, as we do with current PC games." -Pavel Barter, PC Zone
(to view article click left image)
"IGN recently posted an interesting article featuring Warcraft III on an interactive digital table. From the article 'Possible uses of the technology range from tactical map manipulation and business collaboration to parlor games, but we see a real future in gaming. An intern at MERL was able to get WarCraft III running on one of the prototypes and shot a video of the DiamondTouch and a voice recognition system in action.' Photos and answers to commonly asked questions and a video showing multi user interaction can be found online." -Zonk, Slashdot (view article)
One of the earlist articles about our research appeared when reporters from International Gaming News met Adam Bogue at the 2006 Game Developers Conference. From the article: "Possible uses of the technology range from tactical map manipulation and business collaboration to parlor games, but we see a real future in gaming. An intern at MERL was able to get WarCraft III running on one of the prototypes and shot a video of the DiamondTouch and a voice recognition system in action. It's a pretty tight look at the potential this sort of interface has, especially considering the fact that Microsoft has been demonstrating a fairly-conceptually similar type of touch-table interface at it's forward looking keynotes." - Gerry Block, International Gaming News (view article)
"In addition to the WarCraft III videos of the DiamondTouch prototypes in action, we also got to see what the technology can do for more real-world utility. Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories gave us these videos of Google Earth in use. Word is the military got some demos and is pretty interested in the technology. It's pretty easy to figure out why if you watch the vids." -Gerry Block, International Gaming News (view article)
"...this new DiamondTouch touch panel table interface has one thing NYU's unit lacked: game. IGN has video of the DiamondTouch panel in action, and it really appears to be a glorified top-down projection system -- which it is. The image is projected onto a white table, which contains the actual magic. By touching the table you complete a circuit that sends a signal through your body with the X/Y position of your touch. This means the table can handle multiple simultaneous touches, so you and your friends can all gather around and do gaming as it was meant to be done, tabletop style. Mitsubishi's system also includes voice control, and they show it all off with a fairly impressive demo of WarCraft III." - Paul Miller, Engadget (view article)
"...let's be honest, Mitsubishi really throws down here. Unsatisfied with pretty light shows or boring diagrams, they're out to research that ancient query, "But what about the games?" Using Warcraft III, the fellas at MERL are able to use voice and touch to control the game in what appears to be an impressively seamless fashion." -John Choo, Joystiq (view article)
"...brings the exciting possibility of multiple simultaneous touches. Another notable feature is the speech recognition that is demonstrated in the video, although I can’t imagine myself talking to a table non-stop for the whole duration of a 4v4 game. Now if the MERL team could show us a video of a real game of WarCraft on the DiamondTouch and played with skill, I would probably wet my pants." -Leo Huang, HipTech Blog (view article)
"Mitsubishi seems to have some pleasent surprises for gamers. This new type of gaming interface will be a dream for Warcraft or for any game thats similar to it. Perhaps this technology can be used in other fields as well and not only for gamers." -MistaPrimeMinista, ON (view article)
This site is also hosting the Warcraft III video. It is the link that many other sites are referring to, making this one of the most popular research videos on the Internet. Look at the number of clicks from external web sites! Total Video Views as of May 10, 2007 are 390,863! (view article)
This article is a mirror of the Daily Tech Article which is probably a mirror of the IGN article (view article)
"Your Next Coffee Table Could Let You Browse The Web." -Michael Hoffman (view article)
"Fancy playing Warcraft III on a square projection table, not only together with all your "battle mates" but also have play the game - the classic tabletop style? Mitsubishi has just unveiled a new DiamondTouch panel that enables projection to be projected on a special touch sensitive panel that allows gamers to play WCIII head on with opponents, literally." -Stratix (view article)
Anoter site hosting a video of my research. Interestingly enough, its in the 'cool' category and within one day had recieved more than 10'000 views.
The Single DIsplay Groupware has also also been referred to in publications and news articles of how multiple mice can be used to support learning with children in developing nations. This is of particular interest today given that the One Laptop Per Child project is really starting to take off, researchers are wondering if a single shared computer might also provide some of the advantages of a single laptop without the added cost. (view link)
Please send mail to edwardhtse [at] gmail.com for press contact information.
Hi, my name is Edward Tse and I am one of the authors of this work. If you’d like to view some more detailed videos of Warcraft III and Google Earth please visit www.edwardtse.com