The basic idea of Thomas Mayer’s bachelor thesis was to track the ping pong ball in realtime to create data visualisations for trainers and players. After a few weeks of working, he started developing a projected mapped interface for the ping pong table to show the collected data. By projecting game obstacles on the surface, Thomas figured out that he can change the game play totally.
There is a digital dashboard for each player. All important information for players are collected in different panels. There is an abstract documentation and calendar function, a collection of personal high scores and many more facts to review the performance and the development of the player.
“It was challenging to design a functional interface which is projectable on a ping pong table taking in consideration the players’ ergonomics,” explains Mayer. “Project resolution, layout of the interface and arrangement of buttons were the biggest problems that I had to test in many prototypes.”
In his office, Mayer set up a ping pong table surrounded by technical equipment. After several tests he installed two Playstation CL-eye cameras and a full HD projector to work on the tracking of the pin ping ball and processing of the collected data. The first running prototype enabled him to include players in his testing to ensure a user orientated development.
“The Prototype was fully functional at the exhibition and run over several hours,” concludes Mayer. “It was fun to show my work to visitors of the Exhibition and also gave me a few more insights of what others see and expect.”
all images and video courtesy of Thomas Mayer