Pictionaire: a multitouch table of the future


After the release of Apple iPad, I would rather call this desk an ‘iDesk’ which is originally named as Pictionaire. Currently, Pictionaire is under development by Microsoft Research and University of California, Berkeley. The Pictionaire is 4X6 foot table with a camera mounted right above it which can keep track of the objects placed on the desk.

The purpose of this desk is to turn real items into virtual objects. When a notebook with some sketch or writing is placed on the desk, digital tabs appear on all the four corners of the book. User has the power to drag any of its corner tab over while the camera above it take a photograph of the sketch on the notebook and as soon as the notebook is removed, the digital copy of the sketch is available on the desk to drag and use it anywhere. The reverse of this is also true, you can drag any digital object on the desk to a sketch pad and when it fits on it, you can make a sketch while the digital image is over the sketch page.

The camera mounting above will have a resolution of 12 Megapixels allowing it to capture and project high resolution images. Actually there is a lot more than a single camera at the top to built this desk up like Acrylic table top with Vellum cover. Check the following making of the Pictionaire.


Conventional wireless keyboards can be used with Pictionaire as well. When a user puts his keyboard over the desk and starts typing, a text box will automatically appear right at the top of the keyboard, and then user can search for an item that appeared on the desk before.

Pictionaire is quite similar to Microsoft Surface but I think it will be cheaper than the Surface. The following video shows all of the above words in action and more. So, have a look!

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