Computer games on a tabletop are about to become a reality due to a new touch-sensitive table from Mitsubishi, which it debuted at the recent Games Developers Conference in California.
The table works by projecting a computer screen onto the table, which contains pressure sensitive pads. Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) demonstrated the DiamondTouch table with a game of Warcraft III, which also reacted to voice commands.
Adam Bogue, MERL’s vice president of marketing and business, told games site IGN how the device worked: “DiamondTouch is front-projected and uses an array of antennas embedded in the touch surface. Each antenna transmits a unique signal. Each user has a separate receiver, connected to the user capacitively, typically through the user’s chair.
“When a user touches the surface, antennas near the touch point couple an extremely small amount of signal through the user’s body and to the receiver. This unique touch technology supports multiple touches by a single user (e.g., two handed touch gestures) and distinguishes between simultaneous inputs from multiple users. DiamondTouch tables are available in two sizes (32″ diagonal and 42″ diagonal display), while custom sizes and shapes are available on spec”, he said.
While possible uses include gaming, it could also be used for planning by emergency services, or for other such collaborative business and government uses.
Videos of the table in action are available here: http://gear.ign.com/articles/698/698241p1.html