Touch Table

So, I’ll start this blog off with my high school senior project. Back in 2009, when I was trying to decide what to do, I had initially wanted to build an Android tablet. That was a little too ambitious, and I didn’t get started early enough… The spring of 2010 came, and I really didn’t know what I was doing with my Texas Instruments OMAP 3 development board, so I chose a change of direction. I have to say that I am very happy with the results of this project. It wowed and amazed my classmates, and I had a blast building it.

This touch table works by sensing infrared light with a camera (a modified webcam with a light filter that only allows infrared light to pass through it) positioned in the base of the table facing up. The display is provided from a projector bouncing off of a mirror to get a further throw distance. The software Community Core Vision is able to calibrate touch inputs by sensing bright dots in the camera’s video and making a reference to where they are in relation to the display output.

It was all pretty neat. The original version did not work with touch, but I was able to put some IR LEDs into some gutted highlighters with momentary buttons to make them light up. It was actually really cool to be able to hover over the screen with the pens, but I really wanted to get reflective touch working, and the version in this video has a very bright infrared backlight that my fingers reflect when they come in to contact with the drafting paper surface.