Fold-it computer action set for Canada conference (w/ video)

Feb 04, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- What nonsense, sitting in front of one, single display screen and struggling with a split-screen view of multiple-sites plus data entry or word processing. Is this the way it has to be for doing papers, writing reports, presenting detailed stats, and collaborating with others? In 2012, the single-screen sit-down is the common user experience, not nonsense, but a concept presentation at an upcoming conference in Canada could change expectations for good.

Researcher Jurgen Steimle has devised a two-sided, foldable touchscreen concept that offers a book-like rather than one-screen . Steimle and Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Roman Lissermann, and Wolfgang Kleine will present their research titled FoldMe: Interacting with Double-sided Foldable Displays at the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 2012) Conference starting February 19 to February 22 in Kingston, Ontario.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Describing the project, the authors say that “We present a novel device concept that features double-sided displays which can be folded using predefined hinges. The device concept enables users to dynamically alter both size and shape of the display and also to access the backside using fold gestures.”

The video says it all, in terms of what the authors propose as interaction techniques. A tablet with spring-loaded hinges is folded like a book or a pamphlet. The user can make use of a single display screen or a front cover screen, two inside cover screens, or pamphlet-like fold arrangements. The act of folding is clever enough to be thought of as the art of folding, as the user has options either to use it as a single display tablet screen or bend it in the middle like a book for two-display mode and other types of folds.

Projection techniques that enable the concept to work involve six overhead infrared cameras and two high-definition digital projectors.

Watching the video it also becomes apparent that researchers like Steimle and his team are focused on raising the experience of computing for mobile knowledge workers. They have in mind freeing up the user experience for those who interact with data all the time, in accessing, parking, referring to, writing about, editing, sharing comments on, information. The video shows the tablet folding and offering interaction possibilities for writing and also demonstrates interactions ideal for visual displays and design.

Steimle is visiting assistant professor in the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab. Up to December last year, he headed the Tangible Interaction area at the Telecooperation Lab at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Steimle has been interested in different types of flexible displays, including rollable and foldable displays. “We believe that in the near future many portable devices will have resizable displays,” he said. “This will allow for devices with a very compact form factor, which can unfold into a large display when needed.“

In the coming weeks, the display presentation, once revealed at the TEI show, will no doubt be right at home. The theme of this year’s conference is “fold unfold.”

Explore further: Mercedes-Benz 2025 truck shows autonomous system vision

More information: ambient.media.mit.edu/people/j… nt/flexdisplays.html
www.tk.informatik.tu-darmstadt… -interaction/foldme/

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User comments : 7

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_nigmatic10
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 04, 2012
I'm assuming the inter reaction platform is the point of the exercise, because the practicality of having to be in a room of projections to use pc-type functions is very impractical, and i stress very. With that in mind, i believe he can readily achieve the functions desired with OLED technology for display, and achieve a much higher resolution. Can also achieve on the go app interfacing with transparent displays for such things as live 3d gps tech or true 3d power pointing presentations.

Really, this entire thing is nothing new, though an A for effort. The living ink paper display (foldable?) and the rollable-flexible transparent displays have been envisioned for well over a decade.
computerrepairbrooklyn
Feb 04, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.2 / 5 (38) Feb 04, 2012
Why would I want to have a cumbersome binder sized screen to carry around with me when I can have a higher resolution weightless and less power hungry virtual screen projected directly into my eyes?
gwrede
4 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2012
Well, places like the MIT Media Lab develop concepts (hardware, software, methodologies) for research in future user interfaces, and their suitability with various paradigms. While the camera-projector-computer system here is awkward for anything real, it is well suited to lab experiments and ideas development.

Personally, I think we will see touchpads become lighter, more robust, and much cheaper. Form-factors, designs, and features will become more varied, as more use cases are found for the tablets. I can see a water-proof tablet for divers, a robust one for delivery vehicle drivers, a thicker and more rounded one for young children, a foldable one for executives that fits in an inside pocket, a nice pink one for ladies with shopping list apps, etc.

The personal computer has finally begun to break free from the office table or executive brief case.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 04, 2012
Why would I want to have a cumbersome binder sized screen to carry around with me when I can have a higher resolution weightless and less power hungry virtual screen projected directly into my eyes?


Because it's easier to interact with a physical object that gives you tactile feedback, than a virtual display that is hovering in the air in front of you.

And you can show it to the person next to you; collaborate.
Astricus
1 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2012
Why would I want to have a cumbersome binder sized screen to carry around with me when I can have a higher resolution weightless and less power hungry virtual screen projected directly into my eyes?


Because it's easier to interact with a physical object that gives you tactile feedback, than a virtual display that is hovering in the air in front of you.

And you can show it to the person next to you; collaborate.


Nothing new! Although the technology for the prototype may have other uses.
If both people had virtual screens wireless connected then they could share images... this has also been done already....
Vendicar_Decarian
0.2 / 5 (38) Feb 05, 2012
"Because it's easier to interact with a physical object that gives you tactile feedback, than a virtual display that is hovering in the air in front of you." - Eikka

And yet there is no tactile feedback from the projected display. Further the precision of control and selection is greatly reduced over that of a desktop display with a mouse.

Fortunately, computer tablets are mostly a techno-fad.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.1 / 5 (37) Feb 05, 2012
"And you can show it to the person next to you; collaborate." - Eikka

Networking.