The Echoes table

The Echoes (Encouraging Companionship, Home Organization, and Entertainment in Seniors), by Justin Donaldson, Josh Evnin and Sidharth Saxena, is a two-part system designed to help seniors use the potential of new communication technologies to interact with family and friends. It includes:

1. the TeleTable, a virtual extension of the kitchen or family table.
Its top surface contains touch sensitive computer monitor screens which function as display and interface.

The center of the TeleTable contains a slot for the Pitara. Placing it in the center activates a function which associates digital images on the TeleTable with the objects contained within the Pitara. Adding new artifacts to the Pitara queues up associated digital objects on the screen.

TeleTable can be used to play games; write digital letters with a stylus and the touch sensitive screen, without thus having to use a keyboard; organize photographs in an intuitive and natural fashion, etc.


2. the Pitara, a portable device to house digital media and mementos. Its name comes from a Hindi word meaning a “small box of interesting objects that grandparents share with their children.” It aids seniors in sharing photos and mementos with friends and family.

The Pitara uses RFID tags. When placed on the personal object, the identifier can be sensed by a small antenna located in the box, bringing up the images onto the screen which can be navigated in a sequential fashion via controls on the box. The pictures can be sorted and organized from the TeleTable, or loaded directly into the box through a USB connection.

PDF of the project.