Sphere is an interactive spherical display prototype that uses custom optics hardware as well as computer vision and graphics software to enable interaction on a spherical surface.
Our prototype device builds on a commercially available globe projection system (Global Imagination’s Magic Planet). We have added touch-sensing capabilities with an infrared camera that shares the optical path with the projector. This novel configuration permits us to enclose both the projection and the sensing mechanism in the base of the device and allows for easy 360 degrees access to the device and high degree of interactivity without shadowing or occlusion problems. We have also developed a custom graphics projection pipeline that solves the distortion problems and enables projected data to be correctly visualized on the curved surface.
The applications developed for Sphere currently include a picture and video browser, interactive globe visualization, finger painting, globe visualization, and an omni-directional video-conferencing application (360 degree panoramic video from Microsoft RoundTable device). These applications are designed for highly interactive public space environments (e.g., museums, lobbies, information booths) and highlight the appeal of the device as well as its visualization and interaction capabilities.
Sphere in action