Cubit: the open-source Surface

Cubit: the open-source Surface

The Cubit device can be entirely home-built, or made from a kit provided by the designers.

If you fancy the idea of a Microsoft Surface, but don't much fancy the $10,000 price tag, you might want to check out Cubit – the open-source multi-touch tabletop display.

The guys over at TechnologyReview have unveiled an attempt by engineers at New York art and technology centre Eyebeam to develop a Surface-like system for as little as £500.

The driving force behind the project was, according to Eyebeam fellow Addie Wagenknecht, a desire to “prove that anyone could build [a multitouch table] if they had a few simple things. The team have made all the software and schematics required to build your own Cubit available under an open-source license, and it's not as tricky as you might think.

The table works via a single webcam – modified to replace the infra-red filter with a visible-light filter – and a cheap projector to throw the image onto the transparent surface. Add in a few infra-red LEDs and the provided software, and you've got yourself a multi-touch coffee table.

It's a cool technology, and with the entry price so low it's something that I could well imagine having a play around with myself – in my copious free time, of course. The software and schematics for having a go are available at the official Cubit site, although at the time of writing the site has been nerfed by heavy traffic caused by articles elsewhere.

A fancy device you could see yourself building, or are you still not convinced at the requirement for a multi-touch interface on a table-top? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


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proxess 6th May 2008, 09:02 Quote
pretty awesome! DXR, add this project to the list!
M4RTIN 6th May 2008, 09:46 Quote
there was a surface style thing on the gadget show last night, cant remember the name. may well have been this, didn't have a price though
chrisuk 6th May 2008, 11:19 Quote
of course, this is nothing new - homebrew multitouch has been around for a while, just because someones given it a fancy name and pretty pictures doesn't mean its new nor revolutionary.
DXR_13KE 6th May 2008, 11:52 Quote
Originally Posted by proxess
pretty awesome! DXR, add this project to the list!

this was what i was talking about the other day..... :D
Anakha 6th May 2008, 15:12 Quote
Here's hoping someone builds a central library/API so MultiTouch apps and Multitouch hardware works no matter who has made it. Otherwise we're going to end up in an A3D/EAX or 3DFX/PowerVR problem (Before D3D came out and unified the 3D APIs)
Faulk_Wulf 6th May 2008, 15:26 Quote
Sign me up. If this works with ANY projector, my tech-lab at college sells off their half-dead projectors for $25 or less.
cakirhal 4th September 2008, 21:40 Quote
hi, I want to produce a thing like Cubit for my thesis application. Anybody knows Can I do that in 3 mounths or is it really simple to do that?
gandhiankit2207 9th July 2011, 14:51 Quote
Hello everyone...

Any one can give me some suggestion regarding surface table details.
me and my want to start a new business with technology.
but i want to use linux for their operating system.

so, please give me suggestion regarding this field.
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