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Two-sided Transparent Displays

This is an ongoing project.


Transparent displays are now commercially available. We are particularly interested in vertical transparent displays where people can stand on either side of it and work together. The advantage is that people can both see what is on the display, as well as the other person’s body, eye gaze, and gestures relative to the artifacts of interest. However, such transparent displays have several problems. First, they are not truly transparent, as the level of transparency is affected by both the technology and the density of graphics displayed on the surface. That is, they range from transparent to translucent to opaque. Second, their current design means that people see exactly the same thing. This can be problematic, for example, becausse one viewer will see text reveresed, or because one viewer’s level of detail they may wish to see may be a distraction for the other viewer. To remedy this, we prototyped a two-sided transparent display (using two projectors and transparent blinds) that allows us to project different images onto the transparent display, where both viewers may see different things while still seeing the other person through the display. The display is also gesture and touch sensitive, as implemented via an Optitrax marker system. 

Our current work is to investigate interaction techniques that augments how a person sees the other person’s activity through the display, e.g., by visually augmenting the other person’s gestures, gaze direction, and touch points. The idea is that these techniques will facilitate interaction in those cases where transparency is compromised, such as when dense graphics appear on the screen. Our work is also investigating the configuration of our prototype, such as the materials used to build the transparent display, effects of lighting, projector calibration, and others.