The mirror between two worlds: 3D surface computing for objects and environments

  • Ch'ng E
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The information society manufactures, manipulates, and commodifies information. Heritage is one such area that is undergoing digital transformation. Heritage is increasingly being transmuted through digitisation devices such as laser and structured light scans into multiple representations of information. The rich information of a heritage object or an environment can be restructured, transmitted, and recomposed into a mediated form both textual and non-textual. Once digitised, it becomes free from its physical predecessor; it enters another world that defies the physical laws of nature where the imagination of the maker is a limit. Such worlds accompanied by their objects are accessible in new yet intuitive ways via surface computers. The horizontal nature of the multitouch-multiuser surface computer then becomes the mirror that links both worlds, allowing access into a virtual space via the touch-table computing paradigm. This chapter explores 3D surface computing, its technology, capabilities, and limits with developments of two multitouch applications incorporating heritage objects and environments, and the observation of the reactions of initial users. It addresses new issues and challenges surrounding the use of surface computing and how the access and transmission of heritage information via multitouchmultiuser tables are able to contribute to the accessibility, teaching, and learning of heritage. © 2013, IGI Global.

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  • E Ch'ng

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