iTable: A computer-based tabletop display for collaboration

Subjects working around the iTable.

The iTable is a bottom-projected computer tabletop display with a 3-by-4-foot display screen embedded in a wooden rim of a conference table. It is part of the iRoom, a prototype interactive workspace located in the Computer Science Building at Stanford University. A physical table naturally affords collaboration around a shared display; we are interested in exploring new interaction styles, techniques, and metaphors for collaboration around tabletops enhanced by technology. Areas of exploration included the issues of image grouping, relationships, annotation, multi-tiered categorization, ordering of images, visual representations, space usage, collaboration support, control and contention among users, orientation, rotation, support for the separation of private and public spaces, and special interactions to support piles on a tabletop.

As part of our research on designing computer-based systems for organizing materials, we have conducted several qualitative and quantitative investigations of tabletop use both with and without technology. We are interested in exploring more flexible metaphors for organizing materials, such as an informal "pile"-based metaphor, in a collaborative setting around a tabletop. Our goal is to provide more casual, flexible systems for everyday users. More information can be found under Photopiles.

  • Grant, K.D. and Winograd, T. Flexible, Collaborative Organization on a Tabletop. CSCW 2002 Workshop on Co-located Tabletop Collaboration: Technologies and Directions. New Orleans, LA, USA, November 2002.