What is it?
Many of Patten Studios interactive projects are built on top of
the Sensetable. Sensetable is a hardware platform for bringing
the computer interface off of the screen and onto the tabletop. It tracks the positions of objects on a tabletop surface and
provides them as inputs to software running on a computer. The
Sensetable concept and initial prototypes were developed by
the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. Patten Studio
has developed a robust and affordable implementation of the
Sensetable platform for a variety of commercial applications.
computer aided design (CAD)
interactive kiosks and exhibits
supply chain visualization
factory floor layout
collaborative decision making
geographic information systems (GIS)
coordination of emergency services
Sensetable uses a capacitive technology to locate tags on a
tabletop surface. Once the position of a tag on the table has
been computed, the tag uses a very low power 2.4 GHz ISM
band radio to transmit that position to a receiver connected
to the host computer by USB. A standard Sensetable antenna
panel measures 24 cm by 37 cm, and these panels can be tiled
to create an interactive surface of the desired size. The antenna
panel can be built into a variety of tabletop surfaces for permanent use, or it can be placed on top any ordinary tabletop.
The antenna panels have low power consumption, and can be
powered by a 12V wall adapter or (for custom applications) a
rechargeable battery. If the table is powered by a battery, the
Sensetable becomes completely wireless. Each Sensetable tag
includes a small microcontroller, and custom tags with em-
bedded buttons, dials, sensors and displays can be designed.
Sensetable is designed for cross-platform compatibility. Currently it runs on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. Sensetable uses the LusidOSC
API for application development. This open source API makes it easy for application developers to use tools such as Processing
to develop Sensetable applications.