“Desktopography” is a prototype augmented reality device that is produced by the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University. By plugging in Desktopography into a lightbulb socket, the device projects an interactive screen onto any surface that is bellow or in front of it. Robert Xiao, the leader of the study, stated in his blog,”In this project, we use an elicitation study and interviews to synthesize a list of ten interactive behaviors that desk-bound, digital interfaces should implement to support responsive cohabitation with physical objects.” Essentially, the goal the project was to create an interactive screen without the need of technology such as tablets or smartphones. The overall aim of the Desktopography study is to seamlessly incorporate interactive technology with everyday objects and surfaces, to improve connectivity and a better interactive experience.
While there are other augmented reality devices such as Sony’s Xperia Touch interactive projector, Xiao, and his team believe that their object far surpasses any previous attempt at this technology. One of the shortcomings pointed out by The Daily Mail was that the Xperia Touch only works on flat surfaces and has a limited, rectangular surface area. Unlike the Touch, Desktopography has a wider projection, and can even work on surfaces that are not flat. Along with this, apps that appear on the projection can be moved around freely in the given area, and even attached to other items in the projections immediate vicinity. Since Desktopography needs to be installed into a lightbulb socket, the device does not require any charging to remain active. The market for such devices is growing, but still in its early stages. Desktopology is still only in the initial stages of development but has shown great promise in the tests conducted by Xiao and his team.
While the technology isn’t exactly rocket science, it will be a while before Desktopography becomes commercially available. Xiao and his team are working around the clock, testing the device and working out any faults with the parts and programming. So far the problems Desktopography is facing right now are concerns with the projector and the positioning of the interactive screen. There is some question about whether this device will ever be commercially available, but it would be more than likely. With virtual reality technology becoming more and more accessible to the public, it is only a matter of time before Desktopology makes its public debut.
Sources: Augmented Reality on Your Desk – All You Need is a Lightbulb Socket, Supporting Responsive Cohabitation Between Visual Interfaces and Physical Objects on Everyday Surfaces (EICS’ 17), Desktopography turns your desk into a touch screen