PiVOT: Personalized View Overlays for Tabletop Systems

teaserMulti-touch tabletops allow people to gather around them to visualize and interact with its contents in an intuitive and effective way. Imagine if, while you and your colleages interact with shared information, the tabletop could contain pieces of information (such as emails, pictures) that are only visible to you. Imagine if these personal contents did not occlude or interfere with what the rest of the group could see. Imagine if these personal contents could contain any type of media, even 3D stereo graphics, without the need of 3D glasses or any other devices. This vision has become possible with PiVOT:  you can access everything you need to work collaboratively whilst still being able to work independently at the same time and on the same tabletop.


Abhijit Karnik, Diego Martinez Plasencia, Walterio Mayol-Cuevas, and Sriram Subramanian. 2012. PiVOT: personalized view-overlays for tabletops. In Proceedings of the 25th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 271-280. DOI=10.1145/2380116.2380151 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2380116.2380151 pdf



  • GizMag : 10th October 2012 “PiVOT tabletop display simultaneously delivers two different ‘view zones'”.
  • ScienceDaily: 8th October 2012 “Digital Tabletop System With Views On Demand”.
  • PiVOT was submitted to UIST 2012 and has been accepted for presentation in Boston in October 2012.
  • PiVOT selected for the Innovation Showcase at Venturefest Bristol (7th November 2012).

How It Works

PiVOT aims to address the ability of a device to deliver a.) a common view to a group of people and b.) add multiple personalized views for individuals within the group.
This is a technological challenge which we solve with a novel combination of two well known see-through display systems viz. Lumisty and MUSTARD.
The first one, Lumisty film, acts as a direction-dependent diffuser. This means, when looked at an angle the Lumisty film acts as a diffuser, and thus displays the image we are projecting on it. We use this feature to make the shared viewzone visible to the users  seated around the tabletop.

However, when you look at the Lunisty film from above, it becomes totally transparent, revealing the the second building block of PiVOT. This element is a MUSTARD display. MUSTARD uses a liquid crystal sandwich which allows us to deliver entirely different views to the each user in the personal viewzone (above the tabletop). Given the size of the device and other operational parameters, up to 3 users can view personalized content which can be unique to each view. This is the key differentiator for our system. Another additional advantage of using MUSTARD is that the personalized view can show 2D as well as stereoscopic 3D views without needing glasses. By tracking the user’s position inside the personal viewzone, we can also deliver perspective corrected 3D content irrespective of the user’s position. The personal viewzone also contains an enhanced view which can be utilized as a source of additional information to the viewers or can serve as a way for the users in the personal viewzone to keep track of the activities happening in the shared view. This can enhance collaborative tasks based around a tabletop.


Hasn’t this been done before?

A simple answer is ‘no!’. There are other approaches that generate two views  or more views (parallax barriers and lenticular arrays).  PiVOT is not just about two views. It is about two view-zones. The shared view-zone as we call has content common to all users. However the personal view-zone is the innovative step from us. This zone can contain up to 3 pairs of stereoscopic views which do not interfere with each other. That’s a total of 7 views with the current hardware. The user is allowed to move in front of the display (other multiview displays contraint the viewer to specific positions and/or head orientations), and these stereoscopic views don’t require you to wear glasses.

Comments are closed