Portable Multi-touch Table

I designed and built this table to demonstrate PhoneTouch, a novel interaction technique for integrating mobile phones and interactive surfaces (presented as technote and demo at UIST 2010, and as demo at ITS 2010). As the conferences required some travelling, I decided to design the table to fit into my suitcase (the active surface itself is about 60x45cm).

All parts before assembling (except acrylics)
All parts before assembling (except acrylics)

The frame is constructed using Bosch-Rexroth aluminium profiles (30x30mm). Since PhoneTouch requires high sampling rates, we decided for a PointGrey Grasshopper camera (up to 200Hz at 640x480px). As projector, a LG HX300G is used (1024x768px at only 700g, without AC adaptor).

Image of Google SketchUp model of portable multi-touch table
Google SketchUp model of the table

The table is based on FTIR and its surface is made of an 8mm clear acrylic sheet, with a compliant silicone layer and waterproof drafting film on top. The infra-red LEDs are directly mounted inside the profiles. It takes about 2hrs to assemble and set up the table (including calibration); disassembling is usually a bit faster.


Image sequence of assembling the table
Image sequence assembling the table

5 thoughts on “Portable Multi-touch Table

  1. Hello Dominik Schmidt,
    Thank you for sharing your impressive work on RDI touch-tables. We are a firm of architects interested in building our own version an RDI table for use as a design-tool. I note your portable touch-table has no cladding around the frame, although it is an FTIR system. Is it necessary to clad an RDI table? if not then this opens up the possibility of a more minimal “designer” solution with a large perspex table and a detached smaller “box of tricks” below.
    Regards, Ken Grix

  2. Hi Ken,
    thanks for your post. We found that it was not necessary to close the box for our purposes. However, this might depend on the lighting situation. Also, users standing at the table might create false touches when their knees for example come in between camera and surface.

  3. Hi Dominik,
    I really like your setup and was wondering if you had a parts list that you could post? I am looking forward to trying this build out! Thanks again. -Rick

  4. Hi Rick,
    thanks for your message! I posted a parts list here: http://tinyurl.com/bv3jzlm – please double-check before ordering, I created this quite a while ago and can not guarantee that everything is correct.

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