Multi-touch Tables

1. Blue Multi-touch Table (November 2009 - December 2010)

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1. MSA Fluid, MT4J toolkit displayed at Te Papa Museum 2. Collaboratively sharing information with multi-touch table, iPad, and iPhone


Deal Extreme also offer parts:


2. Black Multi-touch Table (July-October 2009)

The Black Multi-touch Table is a Diffused Illumination (DI) multi-touch table and used Community Core Vision. In summary the IR lights worked really well with the 99561 projection surface and clear acrylic on top, but the table is too small at 28 inches and 1024x768 resolution. The projected image is bounced off a mirror which causes some ghosting effects depending on the application. Also see MultiTouchTableSetup.

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Yi-JingChung demonstrating at Careers Expo MSA Fluid by Memo Akten


Film Demo of multi-touch table March 2010



Configuration Setup

As of October 2011 a computer has been integrated into the table. The machine is running Windows 7 and has eclipse, SVN, CCV and the required drivers.

Login: Displaytable\admin

Password: Blacktab13

For more details about setting up the Black Multi-touch Table see MultiTouchTableSetup

3. Prototypes (May-July 2009)

Multi-touch Table Experiments

Our first prototype multi-touch table we built a Diffused Illumination (DI) multi-touch table. We used the Community Core Vision blob detection software. In summary the main issue is that the lights are either too bright or not bright enough, we need something in between. The table surface material (glass, safety glass, persplex, tracing and drafting paper) never worked to our satisfaction and did not allow CCV to detect blobs very well.

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Community Core Vision Trolley Multi-touch frame
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Camera setup and IR Lights Sony Projector
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Computer Desk (1200mm x 800mm) frosting too strong for IR lights. Safety glass with drafting film and tracing paper.
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DSE camera (XH5223). Band pass lens to detect only IR images.
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8 IR LEDs mounted in a bread board, lights too directional. Infra-red heat lamp, too bright.

Also see:

MT Mini

I followed the instructions on the NUI group web site to create a track pad by Seth Sandler, How to Make a Cheap Multitouch Pad - Hardware Thread. I had a box some clear acrylic, drafting paper, and a modified web cam from Dick Smith. I got given the acrylic plexiglas and borrowed the web cam. The box was just lying around the department. I used CCV though.

Also see:

4. Documentation


As part of CraigAnslow's PhD we have built two multi-touch tables to explore the possible techniques that could be used for software visualization and visual software analytics.

Our colleagues Dr. Ajay Kapur, and PhD students Jordan Hochenbaum, and Owen Vallis in the Sonic Arts program of the New Zealand School of Music also have multi-touch tables, see their FlipMu web site for more details.

NUI Group
Visit the NUI Group Community for more information


Technical Guides

  • Building Interactive Multi-touch Surfaces. Johannes Schoening, Jonathan Hook, Nima Motamedi, Patrick Olivier, Florian Echtler, Peter Brandl, Laurence Muller, Florain Daiber, Otmar Hilliges, Markus Lochtefeld, Tim Roth, Dominik Schmidt, Ulrich von Zadow. Chapter 2, Tabletops-Horizontal Interactive Displays, Christian Muller-Tomfelde (editor), Springer, 2010.
  • Multi-touch Technologies NUI Group Community Book. Alex Teiche, Ashish Kumar Rai, Chris Yanc, Christian Moore, Donovan Solms, Gorkem Cetin, Justin Riggio, Nolan Ramseyer, Paul D'Intino, Laurence Muller, Ramsin Khoshabeh, Rishi Bedi, Mohammad Taha Bintahir, Thomas Hansen, Tim Roth, Seth Sandler. 2009.
  • Multi-touch Surfaces: A Technical Guide TUM-I0833. Johannes Schoening, Peter Brandl, Florain Daiber, Florian Echtler, Otmar Hilliges, Jonathan Hook, Markus Lochtefeld, Nima Motamedi, Laurence Muller, Patrick Olivier, Tim Roth, Ulrich von Zadow. 2008.

Industry Collaboration

We have industry collaboration with the following New Zealand companies.

and international companies:


  • Thank to Jordan Hochenbaum and Owen Vallis from FlipMu who provided lots of advice since they have done this a few times before, plus letting me borrow their PS3 camera.
  • Thanks to Nick Grinter and Alan Rennie from SCPS for building the frame of the Blue Multi-touch Table
  • Thanks to PippinBarr and RillaKhaled (Elvis Alumni) for spending time with the configuration and giving me lots of advice on what to do in terms of building this table and software requirements. While at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada they built a DI multi-touch table using a similar approach, see
  • Thanks to Roger Cliffe for technical assistance.
  • Thanks to Jason Edwards and Tim Exley for technical assistance with the LED lights, camera, and filter lenses.
  • Thanks to Mel and Aaron from PSP for providing some samples of acrylic glass.
  • Thanks to Laureen and Sue from VUW ITS teaching services for providing an old used trolley that I could experiment with.
  • Thanks to Ian from Anderson Design for providing some acrylic glass and the magical 99561 rear projection acrylic glass.
  • Thanks to Philippe Kruchten for creating a film of some of my work.
  • Thanks to the Faculty of Engineering, TelstraClear, and the Foundation of Research Science and Technology Software Process and Product Improvement project for providing financial assistance to build these tables.
Topic attachments
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