in|situ| Lab - Log In

Making non-interactive surfaces interactive

Master-level internship at in|situ|

Advisors: Wendy Mackay and Daniel Strazzulla

Summary

The goal of this internship is to explore how to make different surfaces (metal, wood, glass and plaster) interactive, i.e. able to sense and locate one or more touches on these surfaces.

Description

Digiscope is a 22M€ project that explores collaboration within and across large interactive rooms that feature multiple display surfaces, such as the 140 million pixel WILD wall display at LRI (Beaudouin-Lafon et al., 2013)

The goal of this internship is to explore how to make different surfaces (metal, wood, glass and plaster) interactive, i.e. able to sense and locate one or more touches on these surfaces. Current research has demonstrated a number of different techniques for detecting touch, which have a number of advantages and disadvantages. The internship will consist of actually building some of these techniques and comparing them, with the goal of selecting the optimal technique for making the WILD wall (and other prototypes we are building) interactive. If there is time, we would like to also explore how to use related techniques to generate audio via an otherwise non-interactive surface.

During the internship, the student will be expected to:

  • explore technical approaches for sensing touch on an otherwise non-interactive surface (see videos below),
  • design and implement a microcontroller that detects single (or multiple) touches when attached to a metal, wood, glass or plaster surface and makes them available to client applications, and
  • test the device on the bezels of the WILD interactive wall as well as other surfaces for various applications, such as selecting data on the wall display or attaching virtual post-it notes or tags to data on the wall..

The internship can be 4 to 6 months long and hopefully will result in a paper submitted to a conference such as ACM CHI.

Required skills

  • Experience working with microcontrollers (Arduino, Rasperry Pi) and simple electronics
  • Programming in C or Java; Javascript and web programming is plus
  • Experience programming touch or gesture-based interfaces is a plus

References

M. Beaudouin-Lafon, S. Huot, M. Nancel, W. Mackay, E. Pietriga, R. Primet, J. Wagner, O. Chapuis, C. Pillias, J. Eagan, T. Gjerlufsen, C. Klokmose (2012) Multisurface Interaction in the WILD Room. IEEE Computer. IEEE pp 48-56.

C. Harrison & S. Hudson.. Scratch Input: Creating Large, Inexpensive, Unpowered and Mobile finger Input Surfaces. In Proceedings of the 21st Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology. UIST '08. ACM, New York, NY. 205-208. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E8vsQB4pug

M. Ono, B. Shizuki, J. Tanaka. Touch & Activate: Adding Interactivity to Existing Objects using Active Acoustic Sensing. In Proceedings of the 26th Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology. UIST '13. ACM, New York, NY. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgxXi6w8IQc