Tablets and touchscreens are revolutionizing electronics, so it comes as no surprise that the workplace could be next to adopt the technology. The Media Computing Group, based in Germany, has even debuted a prototype, called the BendDesk.
The curved desktop resembles an Ikea-like structure that requires no space for a PC. Instead, the desk’s surface acts as your computer – it’s basically a giant multi-touch tablet, and users are free to tangibly move and organize items with their fingertips. For now, the YouTube video premiering the BendDesk only shows its creators using it to organize photos and play simple games, both single and multiplayer. But while its current capabilities are limited, there’s obviously huge potential for what this type of device will be able to do.
The technology isn’t treading on completely new territory however. A few years back, we saw Microsoft introduce Surface, a digital table allowing users to manipulate its data by touch. But the device was first installed at Rio iBar, a popular Vegas bar, for entertainment purposes. That along with a surface inconvenient for diligent work seemed to disincline it for technical use.
BendDesk uses two projectors, three cameras, and IR-LEDs to detect hands on its surface. The developers’ goal was to bridge the divide between segments of the desk: the horizontal half (keyboard, mouse) and the vertical half (your monitor), and the physical tools (pens, papers, books) with the digital ones. And yes, it’s sort of like Minority Report.