Collaboration and interaction with very large computer graphics images

Ubiquutous Graphics is a project carried out by Johan Sanneblad at the Future Application Lab in Goteborg. The project shows how position-aware handheld displays can function as "magic lenses" that allow seamless access to both overview and detail on a large display. The system also allows several users to collaborate and add free-form annotations and graphics to a shared workspace.

Mobile and handheld devices have become ubiquitous and are now a natural part of daily life. The same can be said for large information displays, which are now seen in most public places. Large plasma displays and projectors are used for a wide variety of purposes, from showing today's menu at a restaurant to presenting an overview of the subway network. This project integrates these two common technologies to create a system that can be used on any networked mobile device together with any large display, in any environment.

New mobile devices are constantly gaining more features; the latest mobile phones even have built-in GPS navigation and wireless LAN for short-range communication. Hardware for ultrasonic positioning might be one possible feature for mobile phones, if sufficiently interesting applications exist. Ubiquitous Graphics might be one such application, and could encourage hardware manufacturers to add positioning hardware to future mobile devices. (...) The system allows multiple users to add annotations and other graphics to the workspace that are propagated across all displays. Users interacting with a handheld display can do that either by using a two-handed navigation technique, or they can work away from the projection and use the GUI of the handheld display to change the display offset on the large workspace. The position of each user's display and the annotations are always shown on the projected background picture and on the other displays.

That's a very compelling project; The idea of connecting both mobile tech and large display seems very relevant to supprot collaboration.