February 14, 2009: Electronic Visualization Laboratory Demonstrates Hands-On Display Technology at AAAS 2009

Professor Jason Leigh (center) and his students (foreground) demonstrate TacTile to NSF director Arden Bement and former NSF director Rita Colwell.

The Electronic Visualization Laboratory demonstrated its TacTile multi-touch system in the National Science Foundation's booth at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, February 13-15, 2009.

Today's public is tuned into the real-time interaction and feedback of video games and the intuitive touch interface of the Apple iPhone, so computer-based technologies -- whether in museums, classrooms or research laboratories -- need to be as compelling, if not more so.

TacTile is a high-definition, multi-touch table driven by a small computer cluster. It excited audiences at the 2008 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting and the Supercomputing 2008 conference, and is now part of a major science museum traveling exhibition called "Water: H2O = Life." RainTable, the UIC/EVL-developed application that currently runs on TacTile, calculates and displays real-time rain runoff simulations on 3D elevation maps to help the general public understand the impact of significant rainstorms on the environment. The exhibit is schedule to be in The Field Museum from June 12-September 20, 2009.

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