Publication: Designing digital tables for highly integrated collaboration

Digital tabletop systems are currently receiving considerable attention, but present systems do not allow the fluid and natural work that is evident when people work around a traditional table. This fluidity is particularly obvious in highly-integrated collaboration, where people work together in a closely coordinated fashion. Highly-integrated collaboration is common on regular tables, but is not well supported in digital tabletop systems. As a first step in determining how this support can be added to digital tables, we carried out an observational study of groups doing highly integrated tasks on regular tables. We saw that people perform several kinds of actions around tables that have not been considered before in digital table design, and we also found that digital tables impose several physical constraints on highly integrated collaboration. These findings suggest possible design opportunities that can help digital tables improve support for highly integrated collaboration, and can help make digital tabletop systems a compelling alternative to the traditional table.




Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Sriram Subramanian
University of Bristol
David Pinelle
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan


Interaction Techniques for Digital Tables
Digital tables allow people to interact with computer workspaces that are projected onto tabletops.


Gutwin, C., Subramanian, S., Pinelle, D. 2006. Designing digital tables for highly integrated collaboration., Technical Report HCI-TR-06-02, Computer Science Department, University of Saskatchewan.


@techreport {highly-int-collab-tech-report,
author= {Carl Gutwin and Sriram Subramanian and David Pinelle},
title= {Designing digital tables for highly integrated collaboration},
year= {2006},
number= {HCI-TR-06-02},
school= {Computer Science Department, University of Saskatchewan}