Objects on an interactive multitouch table Copyright: © i10

In the TABULA project, we examine the use of tangible objects on interactive multitouch tables in computer science education.


Make Learning Tangible

The project TABULA aims to make the learning of computer science concepts tangible. The primary target group is the practice-oriented education in computer science at universities, as well as the computer science in high schools. Furthermore, the results of TABULA are also usable in company training as well as in other learning applications beyond computer science. TABULA uses a combination of two innovative hardware components, multitouch tables and tangibles.
TABULA is technically particularly innovative: Multitouch tables have always contained projectors for the display and infrared light sources as well as cameras for the recognition of touch and tangibles by image processing. However, these systems need lots of space and susceptible to extraneous light. Instead, TABULA uses a new generation of multitouch tables. They combine an LCD flat screen as a display and the capacitive touch detection recognized by smartphones.

This allows learners to place, move and manipulate several tangibles on the table. The table recognizes the tangibles on its surface and track its position and rotation. The software can dynamically display its aura under and around each tangible: for example, values and other information belonging to the tangible. If necessary, the Tangible itself can be equipped with additional local input or output channels, such as switches, touch sensors and LEDs, acoustic or vibration outputs. The data from and to these peripheral channels on the tangible itself can be generated or read from the table.

This project is funded by the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung and we collaborate on this with Human-Computer Interaction Center (Prof. Borchers), Communication Science (Prof. Ziefle), Elektor International Media, and the inside Media AG.


Project Team