This book is an attempt to bring together current research in the domain of interactive
horizontal displays. The book integrates and summarises findings from the
most important international tabletop research teams. It provides a state-of-the-art
overview and allows for the discussion of emerging and future directions in research
and technology of interactive horizontal displays.
In the early 1990s Mark Weiser’s vision of Ubiquitous Computing redefined the
notion of Human Computer Interaction. Interaction was not anymore considered to
happen only with desktop computers but also with other elements of the environment.
This is documented for tabletop research by the early works of PierreWellner
and Hiroshi Ishii and who envisioned the interaction and collaboration in tabletop
settings with their seminal research prototypes DigitalDesk and ClearBoard.
In the following years, research led to the development more prototypes such as
the Active Desk, Augmented Surface and the Roomware component InteracTable.
Recent developments of various technologies such as affordable large display panels,
reliable multi-touch detection and software toolkits open up new possibilities
and refuel the interest in Human Computer Interaction on horizontal interactive displays.
At the same time researchers aim for a better understanding of social aspects
of interaction and group work practice around tabletops in order to successfully
deploy tabletops in work, education and entertainment environments.
Today we may witness the beginning of the last phase of a long process from
the concept of interactive tabletops and lab prototypes to a sustainable business.
Looking back to nearly 20 years of research, commercially available tabletop systems
are on the brink of becoming part of our everyday interaction and collaboration
environments. Tabletop systems appear in semi-public spaces, the hospitality business
and the domestic environment but also in office environments for which
tabletop were initially envisioned. However, the relevance of the research in this
book remains independent of the domain of deployment of future tabletops as
horizontal interactive displays.