This Multitouch Table offers access to a vast database of knowledge. The content stretches from traditional ocean research to less public topics such as 'who owns the oceans?'.


Our aim with the Future Ocean Explorer (FOE) was a mobile, multi-user information system with a simple interaction model hence content rules over technology.

we are simply tired of picture-scale-rotate-interfaces without meaning. Let's look at the interaction dramaturgy of the FOE. Topics swim as typgraphical swarms along the table. The visitor can catch them and they consequently arrange in a hierarchical structure, instantly visualizing direct and indirect relationships between keywords. From here you can access information in form of texts and attached media (movies, animation etc.). We add more modules each time the table is shown. The latest one is a database of scientists and related research departments.

We used the term MMT (massive multitouch) as a working title because first of all : it is big and heavy. Who says size doesn't matter ? In case of developing such a sturdy and mobile monolith, size is definetely a matter. the table consists of three modules, three 200 kg glastops and 6 projectors and is custom-made, from 3-axis projector mounts to the headphone system. We gathered quite some know-how in terms of construction.

On the software side the FOE runs a MySQL Database which allows everyone to change the content on the fly, not just the programmers. We made our own plugins for the touch technology and contributed them to the vvvv community.

Design: Michel Magens, Tom Duscher, Chris Engler
Software: Chris Engler, Jan Kieksee, Jens Ewald, Heinrich Löwe
Hardware: Chris Engler, Julia Fuchs, Manfred Schulz, Erik Neubert, Fa.Muhlack

Ozean der Zukunft // Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts