Interactive 3D Fog Screens Created With DLP
15 May 2014
Researchers from the University of Bristol have developed a proof-of-concept system for multi-user collaboration via reach-through vertical screens. It borrows the idea from entertainment and signage applications that make use of images projected onto planar layers of mist or fog.
Called MisTable, the system was presented at the 2014 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. It comprises four fog screens placed around a horizontal light table. The images are projected onto screens through Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors, while a set of tracking sensors monitors users' hands and permits them to manipulate the images. This is similar to what people can do when using a shared solid work surface.
According to Diego Martinez of the university's Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, the prototype uses commercially available sensor technology. One sensor is placed on top of horizontal work table and monitors users' hands, detecting interactions with the tabletop surface and the volume above it. Another sensor resides in the top part of every personal fog screen to detect interactions there. A third one is placed high above the tabletop so as to enable head tracking. The latter is required for the display of perspective-corrected 3D graphics. The top sensor is also necessary for the brightness compensation algorithm, which is critical for eliminating any inherent change of brightness in the projected images as a result of the angle between incident light and observer, Martinez explained.
He went on to add that the goal was to offer users a variety of possible customizations and novel interactions. These may ultimately include capabilities to present 2D content on the screen or 3D content above the tabletop, as well as different augmentation and relighting of tangible objects for each user.