Multi-touch Workbench
multi-user interaction



Multi-User Interaction on the DNA Workbench.pdf - Sketches paper, Siggraph 2007

The multi-touch workbench is being developed for a collaborative project titled "DNA Unbound".

For the DNA Unbound project, a concept was developed for a "DNA Workbench" with which multiple participants could interact with the application, and with each other, to learn about complimentary base pairing of nucleotides in genetic sequencing. The workbench idea was conceived initially, and the interactive multi touch display was then identified as a possible solution. As the project progresses, the multi-touch workbench is now being developed with a variety of potential applications in mind.

Accompanying the DNA Workbench at its installation at the Columbus Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a responsive screen installation in which a video camera captures the silhouettes of participants for interaction with DNA strands coiling into chromosomes. The two systems are networked, and when a strand is completed on the workbench, the sequence is transferred to the wall projection.

The system currently uses Processing for video tracking of touch inputs, a firewire cam with IR-pass filtering, and Virtools DEV for graphics and interaction programming using OSC for inter process communication.
The final system uses diffused IR illumination underneath the rear projection surface.


above left: Prototype of full size (30"x40") version prior to completion of cabinetry
above right: Internals showing mirror, IR illuminators, IR camera, and projector




abovet: Early software and hardware prototype testing on 18x24" acrylic

The DNA Unbound project includes:
Susan Fisher, College of Biological Sciences, OSU
Vita Berezina-Blackburn, ACCAD, OSU
Norah Zuniga-Shaw, Department of Dance, OSU
COSI, Columbus Center of Science and Industry
George Gantzer, Graduate Assistant, ACCAD, OSU
Sucheta Bhatawadekar, Graduate Assistant, ACCAD, OSU