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MediaSurface: Personal Content Manager Using a Digital Tabletop and Mobile Devices Such as the iPad and iPhone

This is a completed project.


With the plethora of media platforms, content and storage mediums available today, users are now able to access their personal content on several devices such as mobile phones, PVRs, tablets and computers. Undoubtedly, with numerous devices and platforms, a need arises for users to manage, share and organize their existing content. Typically, this content is stored locally (on devices and computers), but it is now becoming increasingly common for personal content to be stored in the cloud.

Working in conjunction with an industrial partner, we designed a prototype application called Media Surface that served as a feasibility study for utilizing touch based devices to organize personal and commercial content. Utilizing a digital tabletop as the central interaction hub, we developed interaction techniques for multiple devices such as iPhones, iPads and iPods. This allowed users to send personal content from their devices to the tabletop, as well as receive content for later viewing.

These multi-device interactions were accomplished by creating a specially designed API, which allowed us to connect iPads, iPhones and iPods to any Windows based tabletop. This API, called the iOS Remote Connector, allows for asynchronous communication between multiple devices, remote call capabilities and file transfers.

Source code repository:

Media Surface documentation: http:/// (in progress) 

Project Partner

  • TRLabs