Hello All,

TIDE (previously known as PhoneVortex) is a little project that came to me during a coffee break and I couldn’t help but implement it. The basic idea is that by using a tabletop you can have a much bigger UI for your phone. Of course this is not a full-fledged implementation but it’s good enough to illustrate the concept. The long term objective is for tabletops, and many other platforms, not to be yet another thing we have to learn to program, but rather useful (situated?) extensions to our everyday objects (laptop, phone)

The PhoneVortex, if very rocky, is an step in that direction. I will probably not be working on it in the coming months as I am in the process of wrapping up my PhD thesis, but if I was this is a list of the things I would be focusing on:

– Efficient VNC implementation
– Scalable UI — that the tabletop user could increase the size of the client component
– Attach/Unattach
– Touch Integration (as you can see in the video I didn’t do this yet)
– iPhone and Android support
– Config-less (IP discovery UDP, registry server)
– Password support (single input password, dual input password, shared input password)
– Sample application supporting multiple modes (phone mode – tabletop mode)

That’s it for now!

UPDATE 2/Jul-2011
Leo Sicard, a master student from ITU will be working on the PhoneVortex for his master thesis. Isn’t it great???? I am so much looking forward to the next term where we will be collaborating.

UPDATE 31/Jul-2011
Phone + Surface integration has been researched for quite some time now. The news is that there is growing interests in commercial applications, like the Amnesia Connect: Amnesia Razorfish Announces Gesture Sharing for Smartphones and Tablets using Microsoft Surface (Press Release)

UPDATE 18/Jan-2013
Aurelien Tabard presented out work on PhoneVortex, now TIDE, at the FITG 2012 conference in Paris.

UPDATE 09/Apr-2013
TIDE has been accepted for publication at Interact 2013. The following video illustrates the interaction design for a replicated phone on a tabletop.


5 thoughts on “TIDE

  1. Thanks Iain,
    Your work with the Amnesia Connect is also very inspiring. I can also see you’ve got other projects on the Amnesia website that are very related to what we do here (tabletops, touch displays, etc). Have you seen my Rabbit and eLabBench projects? It’s nice to see that digital agencies are moving into these directions. I worked for DDB’s Tribal for a while back in 2005-2006, but none of this was even in the radar back then.

    I know the work from the Table Connect guys, but it doesn’t seem to have moved any forward… Anyway, as you can see in this post there will be a master student that will take the PhoneVortex as his dissertation. There are a lot of cool directions where this can go forth, and we are in the process of defining the most interesting ones. I will keep this page updated with the latest developments.


  2. Pingback: Device Composition on Tabletop Computers « lnsi

  3. Hi, I’ve just got a quick question. How have you got the VNCSharp remote desktop control to work with this. That’s a Win Form control yet your application is a WPF isn’t it? Have you done something within the TIDE window class?


    • Hello Ben. As you saw the VNCSharp’s remote desktop control is a Windows Form component and does not work on the MS Surface framework. We created a WPF control which basically performs the same task of dynamically building the remote bitmap as the pieces arrive.

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