Multitouch City Wall

by Andy Polaine on May 25, 2007

The CityWall is a new work by the Ubiquitous Interaction (Uix) research group in Helsinki as part of the IPCity project. It gathers tagged images and video from places like Flickr and YouTube as well as organising it into themes for events.

CityWall in action

One great thing about it is the fact that it is a mutlitouch interface that is out of the labs and ‘on the streets’. The multitouch system was developed by Uix’s John Evans and Tommi Ilmonen. The challenge, according to Evans, was that unlike Jeff Han’s very well-known work in this area, their screen had to work outside of the lab – “ambient light, dirty hands, dirty screen, day and night,” he says.

The payoff for all that hard work is how how easily people negotiate the interface without thinking about it. It’s a really nice combination of technology trends – multitouch with public installations and social content generation.

The YouTube video below shows how it all works, including the computer vision. You can view a nicer version on the CityWall site or download the MPEG4 Version (h.264 26MB).

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