Soon, software that allows interactive tabletop displays on Internet

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WASHINGTON - Researchers at Purdue and the University of Manitoba in Canada have developed a software that enables people to use large visual displays and touch screens interactively over the Internet for business and homeland security applications.

“These displays are like large iPhones, and because they are large they invite collaboration. So we created a software framework that allows more than one display to connect and share the same space over the Internet,” said Niklas Elmqvist at Purdue University.

Named Hugin, the software allows users to pan and zoom using finger-touch commands.

“Hugin was designed for touch screens but can be used with any visual display and input device, such as a mouse and keyboard,” he said.

The researchers tested the software on 12 users in three groups of four on Purdue’s main campus in West Lafayette, Ind., and at the University of Manitoba in Canada.

The collaborative capability would aid professionals such as defense and stock market analysts and authorities managing emergency response to disasters.

“This system could be run in a command center where you have people who have access to a tabletop. In future iterations it might allow integration of mobile devices connected to the tabletop so emergency responders can see on their small device whatever the people in the command center want them to see,” Elmqvist said.

Participants have their own “territorial workspaces,” where they may keep certain items hidden for privacy and practical purposes.

“Other people will be able to use it as a platform to build their own thing on top of,” he said.

“They will be able to download and contribute to it, customize it, add new visualizations.”

Findings were detailed in a research paper presented earlier this month during the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2010 in Saarbr|cken, Germany. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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