Interactive tables for fun and, er, fun.

Recently, I've been pondering, with some workmates, the practicality of putting together our own interactive table, similar to the Microsoft Surface or the reactable.

There are a number of variations on how to build one, but the one we're planning on trying seems to be the simplest: Build a custom table with a frosted glass or perspex top, and place a projector in the base, projecting onto the bottom of the frosted surface. Additionally, have a camera under the table, pointing at the surface, to detect touches and objects.

There are a number of variations on this theme. trackmate is a system of 2d barcodes and open source software that allows you to tag and track objects. Their example configurations involve a frosted plexiglass surface, with even illumination and a camera placed underneath. None of them directly support surfaces with images projected onto them, though.

This instructable demonstrates the construction of a multitouch table that supports both touch detection and a projector, through a technique called frustrated total internal reflection. It relies on a strip of infra-red LEDs along the edge of the panel, and touching the panel disrupts the internal reflection, allowing an infra-red camera under the ...