The Dialog table –designed by Marek Walczak, Michael McAllister, Jakub Segen and Peter Kennard– utilizes digital technologies to facilitate learning in an art gallery or a museum.
A collection of images bubble up at the top inviting you to grab your favorite artworks. Enlarged favorites are collected at the edge. Three tools allow to manipulate and explore the museum collection:
– “Explore” gives text, related video or sound clips.
– “Relate” brings up related art works.
– “Make” allows you to create and email a postcard.
You can manipulate a set of digital images by hand gesture alone (no keyboard nor mouse requested), moving these virtual objects in the air.
The system relies on a computer interface projected onto the bottom surface at each end of the table. A camera on the ceiling analyzes your hand gestures. Like a mouse click, a grasping hand motion allows you to drag images. A digital shadow of your hand is projected onto the screen allowing you to gesture above the table. Up to eight hands can be manipulating the same interface at the same time. Dialog also fosters connections among visitors by identifying items of mutual interest.
In February 2005 the Dialog Table will be permanently installed in the expanded Walker Art Center.