Sonic Tinkertoys + other funky new input devices

Sure, the Nintendo Wii is getting lots of attention for its motion-sensitive controllers, but several other input projects have popped up recently:

  • The Reactable is a "state-of-the-art multi-user electro-acoustic music instrument with a tabletop tangible user interface."  That is, you can drag objects around a flat-screen surface, twisting and aligning them to produce sound (I’ll stop short of saying "music"*).  Check out the very cool videos. [Via]
  • Tai-Chi is a series of acoustic sensors that turn any surface into a touch-sensitive computer interface.  Here you can see it tracking a finger, among other objects. [Via]
  • The Onomy Tilty Table is a large display that can rock back and forth, moving the image on screen as you move the table.  This makes it quick for cruising across large images, from geographic imagery to the AIDS Quilt. Check it out in action.  The latest version will enable twisting to aid navigation. [Via]
  • SandScape lets users interact with a landscape model made of sand, watching interpretations of the results projected back onto the sand.  So you could, for example, sculpt a new form in the sand, then see water flow patterns projected onto the surface. It’s easier to see it in action than to describe.  More info is here.   [Via]
  • 3D Connexion (corporate cousins of the Logitech guys behind the NuLOOQ "Adobe mouse") have introduced the SpaceNavigator, a $49 puck optimized for navigating 3D spaces (e.g. Google Earth).
  • Robert Hodgin (of Flight404 fame) created a large interactive video wall in conjunction with Saturn’s hybrid vehicle launch. Grass and text ripple as users walk by; more photos and here.

* The audio output remains, however, more listenable than Shatner doing Rocketman. [Via Hughes]

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