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Students develop rival to Microsoft’s Surface

in The Australian, March 02, 2010
Mahesh Sharma

“A team at Sydney University wrote the Focus application, … Sydney University PhD student Anthony Collins developed the application over the past couple of years for his thesis, in conjunction with PhD student Trent Apted and computer human-adapted interaction head Professor Judy Kay. … Mr Collins said the focus was to build useful software to access the hardware. …

“We’ve made it hardware-independent. We’re focusing on making useful software so people can actually buy these tables to do stuff with them.” The software allows groups to use a surface computer to access and share files and information stored on a computer. These can be moved across to other computing devices.

“We can definitely see something like this in the boardroom of the future, where people need to call on documents to show them to others,” he said. “It’s very general, it could be magazine editors pulling up stories to figure out what they’re going to include in the magazines. “People work in groups at school and this will enable them to work at the same table.” …

Article related to Focus and Cruiser.

Authors Bio

Judy Kay

Judy Kay

Judy aims to create personalised computing that is embedded throughout the environment to support people in the broad range of activities that are important to their lives.

Trent Apted

Trent Apted

Trent is exploring the potential of the "tabletop interface" as a platform for face-to-face collaboration, multimedia display &exchange, information visualisation &entertainment.

Anthony Collins

Anthony Collins

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Computer Human Adapted Interaction (CHAI) research group at the University of Sydney, in conjunction with the Smart Services CRC.

Related Projects

  • Focus

    Where conventional file systems are based on hierarchical structures of directories, Focus explores an associative file access mechanism for interactive tabletops that overcomes the separate silos of email, photos, files and other groups of digital objects.

  • Cruiser

    Cruiser is a powerful framework for developing rich, collaborative applications for multi-user interactive tabletops.