Lately I’ve been trying to decide how the ship data will be displayed, and what type of interface to use. At first I was considering the use of tangible objects to control the data on the screen, which at that time would’ve been a projection on a wall. Since then the plan has progressed into the creation of a touch screen table, which allows users to slide tangible objects tagged with fiducials along a plexiglass surface, which has the map and data projected onto it.
The interface will be quite similar to the ReacTable show in the video above.
The table will be structured so it has a plexiglass top, with a projector reflecting its image off a mirror, onto the bottom surface of the plexiglass. Within the compartment beneath the table will also be a wide-angle camera that will track the position of tangible boat’s tagged with fiducials upon the screen using the TUIO ReacTIVision software.
This form of interaction easily allows users to change the data shown on the screen, while tying into the overall theme. The tangible ships may also be of interest to younger children who may not fully understand what’s going on on the screen.
Currently, I’m working on designing a blueprint for the construction of the table so that it can be constructed within the next few weeks, allowing me to test my program on it before installing it at the FRDC.
The collection of data has also proven to be slightly more difficult than planned. Even though the data I am hoping to acquire is visible on the Port Metro Vancouver website, they are unable to share the regularly updated files. This has led me to change the project idea slightly. Instead of showing real time data concerning ships in New Westminster, data from over the past year will be visualized.