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April 14, 2014

British researchers develop ‘floating mist’ computer screens

Tabletop display incorporates a conventional interactive table with personal screens, built using fog.

By CBR Staff Writer

Researchers at Bristol University have developed a floating tabletop display which is able to display hologram-like 3D images.

Dubbed MisTable, the new system allows users to create objects onto personal screens which are then projected onto a display built using fog, generated by a bank of fans above and below the table, which builds a normal transparent surface, without creating a physical barrier.


(Image courtesy of Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, University of Bristol)

Bristol University’s Bristol Interaction and Graphics group Human-Computer Interaction professor and project lead Sriram Subramanian said that 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," Subramanian said.

"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.

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"This allows users to break in or out of shared tasks and switch between "individual" and "group" work."

The floating projected computer screens, which are both see-through and reach-through, are made of water vapour and glycerine and are anticipated to become a feature of future office meetings.

"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."

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