HuddleLamp Treats Multiple Tablets as a Single Display

When there’s no big display at hand, the HuddleLamp enables you to emulate the experience with the help of multiple tablets that are treated as a single, large one.

HuddleLamp is meant to change both the way human interact with computers, as well as the way they collaborate with one another when sitting around a table. Remember Microsoft’s Surface table, that later became known as PixelSense? The HuddleLamp was built around a similar concept of enabling the displayed things to interact, but in this case, there’s no large display, just a multitude of smaller ones.

Roman Rädle, Hans-Christian Jetter, Nicolai Marquardt, Harald Reiterer, and Yvonne Rogers, the creators of the HuddleLamp, started from the idea that people nowadays have more than just one mobile device, and in some situations, getting them to work together could have a major impact on productivity.

The device itself is a desk lamp with an RGB-D camera built into it that tracks the movement and position of the displays on the table, as well as the location of the user’s hands. The tracked data is collected and sent to a server that in return sends the right images to each screen.

As mentioned before, this could be something great for people who collaborate a lot while working in the same room. With a bit of work, maybe the HuddleLamp could proof useful for gaming, as well, and it would be really interesting to see how things move seamlessly from one screen to another. The developers of the HuddleLamp even provide access to their JavaScript APIs Huddle, HuddleCanvas, and HuddleObjects on their website, so make sure you’re checking that out, if you’re interested in writing your own apps.

Additional details are available in the HuddleLamp: Spatially-Aware Mobile Displays for Ad-hoc Around-the-Table Collaboration paper, which will be presented by its authors at the 2014 ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces.

The truth is, most recently-launched smartphones and tablets are very capable, in terms of processing power, and it would really be a shame not be able to use them in tandem. Without devices such as the HuddleLamp, there’s little to no interaction between them, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that a lot of time and productivity is lost this way.

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