26.09.11

Touch devices extend functionality with Portico prototype

Interaction with small devices can be extended outside the screen with a prototype solution that uses cameras to support object recognition and gesture control. Researchers from Intel, Microsoft and the University of Washington have collaborated to develop Portico, a tablet computer that recognises touch on the screen and senses gestures and objects around the screen.

The development was covered in the MIT Technology Review which reports that two foldout cameras are employed above the display. These devices will detect and track motion around the screen. Height and location of objects can be determined with software that compares the two views captured by the cameras.

A video demonstrates a number of applications developed by the researchers. One shows a model plane that can be aimed to fire and destroy rocks that are propelled towards the toy. Another sees a researcher propelling a ball across the table to the table to try and score on-screen goals.

Potico increases the useable area of the screen sixfold according to a quote from Daniel Avrahmi, a senior researcher at Intel Labs, in the MIT Technology Review.

The researchers envision a system in the future that will use clip on cameras or a frame that includes both cameras and a pico projector.

Portico: Tangible Interaction on and around a Tablet from Daniel Avrahami on Vimeo.