The AEC’s “Console” was an example of an interactive table at which users could access data via an intuitive interface.
This particular installation utilized trading cards as tools to control the display of texts, videos and animated films having to do with prizewinners in the “u19 – freestyle computing” competition. An image recognition system identified which card was laid down and registered its orientation on the table’s transparent surface. The position of the card determined which sets of data were displayed on the projection screen: rotating a card on the tabletop in 90° increments brought different types of content up on screen; rotating it less than 90° allowed for subdivision of the screen to simultaneously show multiple types of content.
While adjusting the cards’ orientation in this way, the user could follow the effects of each change of position directly on screen, which considerably facilitated an intuitive approach to displaying the desired content.
This interface used familiar ways of playing with trading cards in order to structure the display of digital information and to simplify users’ encounters with content. The prototype in the Ars Electronica Center could be adapted to a wide variety of applications.
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