Turn an Entire Room into a Digital Space to Make Information Sharing Easier
How is information shared at meetings?
It may be shared on laptops or tablets. It may be displayed on a wall using a projector. Smart devices have surely facilitated sharing information at meetings. However, laptops, tablets, and smartphones work independently, and linking them has been a technical challenge that needed to be resolved before information projected on a wall could be shared or moved around for brainstorming in co-creation activities such as workshops.
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. has developed user interface (UI) technology that turns an entire room into a digital space. Smartphones and projectors brought in for a meeting automatically connect with each other and display the UI across the room. Multiple projector-camera units installed in the room use a wide space as a window system. This way, participants' device screens can be displayed in a single space.
What is the Space Digitizing UI Technology?
Following are key technologies used in the space digitizing UI technology:
The first technology connects multiple projectors and immediately makes them work with participants' smart devices.
Simple settings enable multiple display systems to work together to create one large screen. Smart device screen images are then transferred and projected onto desks and walls to allow participants to share them.
Second is a sensing technology that pinpoints locations and IDs of users' smart devices. Environmental sensors using cameras and sensors inside smart devices are linked to detect user locations and their smart device IDs simultaneously. Environmental sensors can detect precise locations but are unable to recognize device IDs. Meanwhile, inertia sensors inside smart devices are unable to detect locations but can identify device IDs. This technology achieves location and ID sensing by linking such sensors with human motions including walking and stopping. As individuals and smart devices are linked in this way, screen images of selected smart devices can be displayed and shared.
Third is UI technology for realizing intuitive information sharing and operation such as body movements and writing.
Users can show their smart device screen images on the wall or start an application using simple hand movements. This UI technology contributes to brainstorming using a large screen by enabling: 1) note taking on a screen projected on the wall, 2) recognition of selected hand-written characters, and 3) the display of recognized characters as digital sticky notes.
Experience a Completely New Type of Workshop
In August 2015, an experiment will start at the HAB-YU platform* to demonstrate the effectiveness of new technologies in creating ICT-based brainstorming workshops and stimulating communication.
Effective use of ICT will take users to workshops that they have never experienced before. For example, they can turn their writing on a desk into digital Post-it notes or move hands in certain ways to project their tablet or smartphone screens onto a wall instantly.
The experiment will examine how workshops in a fully-digitized environment enable ICT to contribute to efficiently sharing information and stimulating communication.
*HAB-YU platform: a space operated by Fujitsu Design where designers generate new value through co-creation or identify and tackle problems
Vision Going Forward
This space-digitizing technology has much potential and prospective applications cover a wide range of information sharing opportunities and discussions, including co-creation activities like the workshops described above, at showrooms or hotel entrances, during trip planning at travel agencies, and when talking with bank tellers, just to name a few.