Bristol researchers look to VentureFest for commercial spin-off for tilting display

Researchers from the University of Bristol are looking at the commercial opportunities for spinning off a new tilting display technology. 

The researchers are taking part in VentureFest in Bristol on November 7th to talk to entrepreneurs and investors about the Tilt Display they have developed. 

Tilt Display is a display surface about half the size of a standard tablet, such as an iPad, and consists of a collection of individual display components each of which can tilt along one or more axes and move vertically up and down. 

The researchers, through a mobile 3×3 custom built prototype, examined the design space around Tilt Displays to understand users’ initial impressions and looked at how users may interact with these surfaces.  They were also interested in the use of a mobile display, because of the range of opportunities for its use it offers.

“The ability to tilt along multiple axes distinguishes our display from previous actuatable displays,” said Sriram Subramanian, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Department of Computer Science’s Interaction and Graphics group. “Such screen versatility opens a range of opportunities for providing an additional integrated information channel to the user.

“These opportunities include collaboration, terrain modeling, 3D video that is beyond auto-stereoscopic 3D and tangible gaming. We can imagine many scenarios that would benefit from the physicality offered by Tilt Displays. However, we need to establish whether users can relate to the new experiences and advantages of using such a device.”

The research found participants were very positive about the Tilt Display concept.  Their first impression was to associate Tilt Displays to a new method of presenting and consuming 3D content and they linked the Tilt Display to other forms of 3D displays, such as those used in cinema. 

A second user study examined two interaction possibilities, one for manipulating the surface of the Tilt Display and the second for conducting everyday interactions. 

A set of six gestures were employed to control all facets of tilt and actuation. The second set, for the low-level interactions of panning, scaling, rotating and selection, found that users preferred on-screen gestures for planar surfaces, but mid-air versions of the same gestures for non-planar configurations. This demonstrates users’ ability to ‘scale up’ their knowledge of gestures to the domain of Tilt Displays.

A video of Tilt Displays is available on YouTube.

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