The AEC’s “Console” is an example of an interactive table at which users can access data via an intuitive interface.
This particular installation utilizes 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 identifies which card is laid down and registers its orientation on the table’s transparent surface. The position of the card determines which sets of data are displayed on the projection screen: rotating a card on the tabletop in 90° increments brings different types of content up on screen; rotating it less than 90° allows for subdivision of the screen to simultaneously show multiple types of content. While adjusting the cards’ orientation in this way, the user can follow the effects of each change of position directly on screen, which considerably facilitates an intuitive approach to displaying the desired content.
This interface uses 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 can be adapted to a wide variety of applications.