We continue our tech-related series with a post about the Interactive Tabletop developed by Sony Future Lab, an R&D department of the Japanese multinational corporation.

The Interactive Tabletop is a projector that not only lightens up a surface, but it also makes it a touch-sensitive display, bringing it to life. Using depth sensors and motion tracking, the Interactive Tabletop “feels” when objects are places on the lighted surface or when someone touches or moves the objects on the surface. Pretty cool I would say!

Image from The Verge

What is even more interesting is the application they used to showcase the augmented reality prototype. For a 2016 tech conference, Future Lab used the Interactive Tabletop to show how the experience of reading books could be made more interactive. They used a physical copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll to illustrate how the projector does not only recognize the book and shows related animations around it, but also animates the drawings of the book and allows the user to interact with them (for example, dragging them from one place to the other). Users can also highlight passages from the book and make certain sentences float out of the book.

You can see exactly how the Interactive Tabletop prototype works in the video below:

I personally find this example of blend between books and technology quite interesting, and I think it might have a great potential for transforming educational experiences. For example, it might attract kids to books or turn potential-boring lessons into hands-on experiences. However, there might be the risk that augmented reality books will not encourage people to actually read them, but just to have fun while playing around with the characters.

What do you think about technology enhanced books? I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it!

‘Till next time, happy reading!

Georgiana

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Images, gif & info from The Verge; Video from Technology and Tools Youtube channel

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