A table that reads, another that hears

I’m developing a fascination for interactive tables. I’ve already blogged some* and have more in store. Here’s two of them:

Scoop, by Anna Hiltunen, is the prototype of an information reactive table with memory, a kind of messageboard to be used with portable devices. Place your handset on the table and the information aura of your personal device appears. Placing objects close to each other enables information exchange.

The table reads the “shared folder” on your device via bluetooth. Icons of your shared information and content viewer appear on the table surface around your handset. You can copy other people’s information by placing your content viewer on top of an icon or leave content by putting an icon on top of a content viewer.


Both the elderly and the hear­ing impaired could benefit from Chatter. This table, created earlier on by Hiltunen again, lights up in response to noise, reacting to sound frequencies with a change of light pattern and to volume with brightness.

A microphone under the resin table is connected to a frequency analyser, which separates different sounds from a noisy background, then sends sig­nals to switch on groups of LEDs embedded in the table. Although the prototype reacts to ambient noise, it can be programmed to recognise sounds and light up each time the phone rings, doorbell rings, or any alarm such as the microwave timer goes off.


*Other tables: Table inhabited by squiggly luminous worms, Tabletop that can display, input data for meetings, The Drift Table.