Magicboard movies


Finger Tracking 2004 Finger Tracking sequel Finger Tracking Magic Table Magic Board Finger Paint

Finger tracking 2004

(Oct. 2003-Apr. 2004)

This work was realized by Julien T. Letessier while preparing his Master's thesis and PhD.
The system executes on a PowerMac G4 (PowerPC 7410 @ 1.42 GHz)

This system is described in the paper
Visual tracking of bare fingers for interactive surfaces, by Julien Letessier and François Bérard, in Proceedings of the 17th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST'04), Santa Fe, NM, USA, pp. 119-122.

Finger tracking

ft2004-movie-mpeg4.avi 88.2 MB

ft2004-movie-mpeg4-small.avi 12.2 MB

ft2004-movie-mpeg1-small.mpg 27 MB

This video demonstrates the finger tracking system, its evaluation, and a sample application. The system processes quarter-NTSC (320x240 pixel) frames at 25 Hz on a low-end machine, with 80 ms latency and requires no initial software setup or maintenance.

The system tracks an aritrary number of fingers, in various lighting conditions, and is not perturbated by shadows.


Finger tracking 2003

(Sep. 2002-Jul. 2003)
This work was realized by Julien T. Letessier for his DEA (French Master's thesis).
The system executes on a PowerBook G4 (PowerPC 7455 @ 800 Mhz)
Julien's report is available online (french, 50 p., 3.4 MB PDF).

Finger detection

ft-movie-1-divx5.avi 6.5 MB

ft-movie-2-divx5.avi 5.7 MB

ft-movie-3-divx5.avi 8.8 MB

Demonstration of the finger detection system. The system processes 320x240 frames at 20 Hz on low-end machines, and requires no initial software setup.

The system tracks an aritrary number of fingers, in various lighting conditions, and is not perturbated by shadows.

Common movie caption:

  • top left: current background model
  • bottom left: current frame, detected fingertips (centers of red circles) and rough orientation approximation (green lines)
  • bottom right: similarity map between background and current frame.
  • top right: rejection map. white pixels are fingertip candidates.

Movie captions:

  • Movie 1: two fingers, moderate movement, moderate clutter, mixed lighting;
  • Movie 2: open hand, clutter, artificial lighting.
  • Movie 3: many detected fingers don't cause a performance hit.

Finger tracking 2001

(Feb.-Jun. 2001)
This work was done by Christian von Hardenberg for his diplomarbeit (end of studies project in Germany).
The system executes on a PC (Pentium III @ 1 Ghz)
Christian's report is available online (english, 86 p., 1Mb pdf).

A paper (.pdf, 208 Kb) presented at the ACM Workshop on Perceptive User Interfaces (2001).

Finger detection

fingerdetect.mpg 2.1 Mb

Demonstration of the finger detection system. The system is able to search for fingers in the entire 384x288 (quarter PAL) image at 25 frames per second.

The system can actually track fingers on many hands and identify which finger belongs to which hand.


brainstorm.mpg 3.9 Mb

This video shows that more than one user can interact with the system (multiple-user two-handed interaction is actually possible).
The system tolerates unconstrained movements (i.e. high acceleration) from the users.


presentation.mpg 6.9 Mb

The user controls a powerpoint presentation with gesture. Showing 2 fingers is "next slide", 3 is "previous slide". Showing all the fingers calls the "slide sorter" where the user designates with one finger the slide number he wants to access directly.

Web surfing

websurf.mpg 2.7 Mb

Control of a web browser with one finger. Mouseclicks are generated if the finger rests at the same position for half a second.

Magic Table

(year 2000)
This system was realized at the MIT Media Laboratory in the Vision and Modeling group as part of the Facilitator Room project.
Executes on a PC (Pentium III @ 833 Mhz)
A paper (.pdf, 879 Kb) presented at the IEEE Workshop on Projector Camera Systems (2003).


magictable.mpg 23.9 Mb
magictableHQ.mpg 39.6 Mb

This is an horizontal implementation of the board (i.e. the board is a table).
Red tokens (small disks made of plastic) are used instead of fingers. The choice was made initially because finger tracking was not stable enough, then we realized that graspable object may be better for some tasks (because of the physical embodiement they provide).

Magic Board

(year 1999)
ENSIMAG end of studies project from Sébastien Annedouche, Benoît Loup and Michel Prodhomme.
Executes on a PowerMacintosh 8600 (PPC 604 @ 350 Mhz) or an SGI O2 (R10000 @ 150 Mhz)
A web page describe this project in more details.

Magic Board 19.6 Mb (quicktime, sorenson)
magicboard.mpg 36.9 Mb

First fully functionnal implementation. Clicks are simulated by pauses (static finger) of 0.5 second.

Finger Paint

(June 1994)
First prototype on the project.
Executes on a Macintosh Quadra 840av (68040 @ 40 Mhz)
A web page describe this project in more details.

Finger Paint 8.3 Mb (quicktime, cinepak)

Drawing virtual ink on the board with a finger / a pen.
The tracking (by correlation) requires manual initialization. Clicks are "simulated" by someone pressing a key on a keyboard.


Created on July 19, 2001 by François Bérard