Multitouch Collaborative Computing & Other HCI Delights
Workshop LeaderJim Spadaccini, Ideum

The popularity of multitouch-enabled phones and tablets has shifted user expectations and changed the way computer installations are designed for public and semi-public spaces such as: museums, libraries, schools and other places where people gather. More and more, visitors expect that screens found in public spaces are not only touchable, but are also capable of multitouch. This shift has helped expand interest in large-scale multitouch tables and touch walls and is bringing to the forefront new and collaborative ways for users to interact.

While the rise in touch-based mobile devices may be the catalyst for interest in large-scale multitouch, the differences in the types of user interaction are significant. Unlike mobile devices, multitouch tables and touch walls encourage multiple users to interact simultaneously; software can be designed to encourage face-to-face collaboration and social interaction.  The potential for informal learning around these types of installations is just beginning to be explored.

In this workshop, we will look at the physical and social nature of multitouch tables and touch walls; we will focus on the qualities of collaborative computing as multitouch technology and design models continue to evolve and mature.  In addition, we will take a brief look at motion recognition and discuss how this technology and others are collectively forming a new wave in HCI (human computer interaction).  A short introduction to the Open Exhibits project will also be presented.