Projection And Hover Touch Mash-up Allow People To Leaf Through Ancient Manuscript At Korean Library

May 9, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Hat tip to UK creative Stephan Bischof for posting on Linkedin about this …

This is a physical book, with blank pages, sitting on a marble table – with the material from the real book projected on to it from above. The truly interesting thing is the use of a Zytronic’s contactless hover  touch-sensing technology to detect and react to hands turning the pages, even through that thick book.

The book is a priceless Korean medical encyclopaedia, first published in 1613, that very obviously needs to be kept away from people keen to flip through the fragile, centuries-old pages. So the National Library of Korea engaged the Seoul creative tech shop Ubidus to develop a solution that displayed and enhanced the book’s contents, while also allowing from a much more tactile experience than with totally virtual books.

“Many companies have developed digital books using LCDs over the years, but we wanted to create something more realistic,” Ubidus team leader Baek Jin Su told Electronics Weekly. “Our idea was to leverage a real large-scale book whereby users could physically turn the pages to view content, as well as interact with the text to generate related animations.”

Another Korean company, Dream Team Harmony (which could be a K-Pop boy band name), helped sort out the technical side of the project, using UK-based Zytronic’s ZXY500 noise-rejecting touch controller.

Zytronic gets into the technical details here …

Both imaginative concepts were realised using digital projection mapping and Zytronic’s award winning contactless ‘hover’  touch sensing technology. Operating in conjunction with Zytronic’s own ZXY500™ projected capacitive controller, loaded with proprietary firmware, the solution boosts touch detection levels far beyond what is usually possible, enabling a level of sensitivity significantly greater than conventional projected capacitive systems. For instance, through the air, touch detection can be picked up at least 50mm away from the surface of the sensor, and crucially for this application, it also registers interaction through non-conductive materials, such as paper, wood, plastic, and ceramics.

Beneath the pages of the “Digital Book” and the surface of “The Future of Search” marble tables, DTH proposed bespoke ZyFilm® touch sensors. “Because the Zytronic sensor has a flexible film structure, it can be easily installed under the pages and tabletop and coupled with their ZXY500™ controller is highly resilient against any external noise – put simply, it works!” said Baek Jin Su.

By turning the pages of the “Digital Book”, users can read the original texts and interpretations of Dongui Bogam in a unique way. This ancient Korean medical encyclopaedia was compiled by the royal physician Heo Jun, first published in 1613 and circulated throughout Korea and China. In this latest imagining, users can interact with each page using the super sensitive Zytronic touch sensor mounted beneath with a high-resolution overhead projector above, adding animation effects and bringing each “Digital Book” to life.

Furthermore, in the library’s reading room, “The Future of Search” interactive marble tables have been designed and manufactured to deliver an innovative way to access digitised content. Visitors and scholars alike can visually and dynamically search library materials, share search results, or collaborate with research colleagues. Like the “Digital Book”, Zytronic’s ‘hover’ touch recognition technology works through the dense, non-conductive rock tables, enabling several users to interact with the overhead projected content simultaneously.

“It’s only Zytronic’s special ZXY500 controller and its proprietary ‘hover’ firmware combined with the flexible touch sensor that can reliably detect touches through thick, non-conductive materials, enabling us to create the desired design that I had only thought of as an idea,” said Baek Jin Su. “The innovative technology proved to be the ideal solution to deliver a fully immersive user experience that gives very fast response and excellent touch accuracy. The dedicated technical support and application guidance from their local partners DTH, were also compelling reasons for choosing Zytronic.”


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