I’m a computer science PhD student at Lancaster University in the UK developing tools that can help people quickly prototype new kinds of interactive interior designs and furniture.
Ubi Displays is one such tool. It lets designers/programmers/whoever take content that would normally appear on a computer screen (i.e. web content) and literally drag-drop it into surfaces in a physical space. A bit like a photoshop for interactive physical spaces.
The design challenge is to get away from “iPads on everything” mentality and allow designers to integrate computing into physical spaces in a sensitive, almost magical, kind of way.
I’ve made a video with a “day in a life” concept here which demonstrates a few ideas I had: http://youtu.be/df1NO7MoAUY
In the past, these systems required a lot of time and specialist skills to build. As a result, the technology rarely left the computer science research labs and made into the hands of people who could apply it and innovate with it. My aim is to offer software tools which make the process as simple as possible and allow more people to try it out and experiment with new ways of interacting with buildings, furniture and appliances. Being featured on your website would mean a great deal, as it would expose more people to the kinds of ideas we are exploring in computing and hopefully stimulate creative ideas which we can use to design better technology in the future.
As for the program, it is open source, so your readers can download and try it out here: http://code.google.com/p/ubidisplays/. I’ve also made a tutorial video which you can see here: http://youtu.be/rWKN1-0j4sI
In terms of hardware, it requires a Microsoft Kinect, a Projector, and an i5 Windows PC. So if you have a web designer and the aforementioned hardware, then you are good to go!
Thank you very much for your time and consideration!
Examples of things built:
Recycle Encouragement: http://youtu.be/RyIs3ekFyjw
Welcome Pillar: http://youtu.be/PqxnY5klQJY
Phone Touch: http://youtu.be/SqG3Idphwes
Two Sided Touch Screen: http://youtu.be/FKOSqc4M16w
Day in the life: http://youtu.be/df1NO7MoAUY