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Subject: Projector Inside Gaming Table Idea rss

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Wesley R
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So I was a bit bored today and browsing the forums and just got to thinking what I would consider the ultimate gaming table to be.

I ended up stumbling across this thread in which a user built one that sounded pretty cool and used a projector mounted to the ceiling in order to be able to project pictures and custom board games into the table surface.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/492293/custom-built-game-tab...

Now, that is a very cool idea, but there were people who pointed out that this could provide some issues as card, dice, miniatures, and/or hands that are played on the surface would block the light from the table.

Thus, if I were to build the ultimate gaming table, besides having some of the obvious features of storage space and a raised edge, I think it would be amazing to have a rear-projection system.

For those who don't know, a standard projection would project from point onto the surface in which you wish to project onto. Simple pointing the light at the correct surface. The rear projection system would be to take the projector and put it INSIDE the table, pointing up at the surface to be projected on. Then you can buy special projector screens or glass in order for the image to be projected onto. This would create a very bright board with a clean image as well as avoid issues of light being blocked by components being placed on the surface.

My only issue is the gaming surface. I may be wrong as to what the best surface would be, but my understanding is that a nice felt is commonly used. However, in order for this to work, the top surface that is played on would need to be see-through, and preferably very thin while still providing projection and support so that damage does not befall the projection screen/glass underneath.

So, what do you think of the idea and what would you think a good playing surface would be that would be transparent, firm and protecting, and as thin as possible? If the idea is determined to be possible, I might make one of these tables at some point in the future.
 
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Celina
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You could just use a smart board instead of a projector.

Isn't Microsoft making some sort of gaming surface like this? I thought I read something a few years ago about it.
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Wesley R
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I think we were thinking a similar thing. They called it the surface, but then that became the tablet. Now it is pixel sense. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/pixelsense/default.aspx

However, I have no idea how to find pricing or where to get it. The only attempt at pricing I saw was $8,400.

Also, it does somewhat limit you to using the unit and wouldn't provide the best surface for classic board games ans pieces.

However, I really like the potential to add components to an item like this (similar to android's tap-touch feature) where people could buy real dice or meeples or cards that have data as to what they are. Thus allowing you to interact with a board or provide animations for the actual plays or rolls that are made.

This seems to be getting more intense than I would be capable of producing though...
 
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George Parker
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Celinashope wrote:
You could just use a smart board instead of a projector. . .


Maybe I'm not tech savy, but how do you use a smart board without a projector?
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Holger Doessing
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Wesley R
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holgerd wrote:


Yes. This is really cool. However, what I am not liking is the seeming prohibitive cost and the fact that it is not a good gaming table for classic board games and components (raised edges, good surface, etc.)

Thus, my question would be if it would be possible to combine these two things into one table.
 
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Celina
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texasgeoker wrote:
Celinashope wrote:
You could just use a smart board instead of a projector. . .


Maybe I'm not tech savy, but how do you use a smart board without a projector?


blush

I totally forgot about the projector, I was just thinking of the touch-sensitive part of it.
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George Parker
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Snipes777 wrote:
My only issue is the gaming surface. I may be wrong as to what the best surface would be, but my understanding is that a nice felt is commonly used. However, in order for this to work, the top surface that is played on would need to be see-through, and preferably very thin while still providing projection and support so that damage does not befall the projection screen/glass underneath.


I see wargamers playing on maps covered with plexiglass all the time. Which makes me wonder if the playing surface could be plexiglass? I guess it would have to be lightly frosted to prevent the glare and provide a surface for the image to shine on. Then I wonder how clear it would look, or if the rear projection through the plexiglass would always produce a fuzzy image due to the frosting. Just my thoughts.
 
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Wesley R
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texasgeoker wrote:
Snipes777 wrote:
My only issue is the gaming surface. I may be wrong as to what the best surface would be, but my understanding is that a nice felt is commonly used. However, in order for this to work, the top surface that is played on would need to be see-through, and preferably very thin while still providing projection and support so that damage does not befall the projection screen/glass underneath.


I see wargamers playing on maps covered with plexiglass all the time. Which makes me wonder if the playing surface could be plexiglass? I guess it would have to be lightly frosted to prevent the glare and provide a surface for the image to shine on. Then I wonder how clear it would look, or if the rear projection through the plexiglass would always produce a fuzzy image due to the frosting. Just my thoughts.


My plan (in my head) would be to use a special projector glass like this:
http://www.screeninnovations.com/screen-materials/flexglass-...

(Though I have no idea how much it costs)

Or I could just get a rear projector screen and cut it to size:
https://www.google.com/#q=rear+projector+screen&safe=off&tbm...

Then the surface would be clear to lay on top of that in order to protect it and provide a good surface. I would want it thin so that it doesn't feel like you are floating above the board or anything.

Plexiglass should be easy enough to come by and I think would work for thin and transparent as well as protecting the screen/projector glass.
 
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Dave C
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big, old projection TVs are cheap... knock one on its back and make it a table. Play right on the screen.
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Jarrett Dunn
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People are already doing a lot of this. Just get a flat screen TV and an IR touch frame (which comes with gorilla glass to prevent you from screwing up the display:

IR Touch Frames: http://www.irtouchusa.com/ (only about a grand for a 6 point, 40" touchframe)

This is where most everyone buys them from:
http://peauproductions.com/store/index.php?main_page=product...

Example from the NUI Group forums: http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/23038/

So ~$1000 for a 40" TOuchframe
and ~$500 for a Samsung brand new 40" flat panel LED
plus figure $500 for the woodworking on the table if you do it yourself.

So for $2000 you can have pretty much exactly what you want.
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Wesley R
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mltdwn wrote:
People are already doing a lot of this. Just get a flat screen TV and an IR touch frame (which comes with gorilla glass to prevent you from screwing up the display:

IR Touch Frames: http://www.irtouchusa.com/

Example from the NUI Group forums: http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/23038/


Beautiful!

Seems to be about $1,000-$1,500 for the overlay depending on how many touch points you want.

EDIT: Woa! maybe I can find closer to $300-$600. I would have to do research and find what is a good value.

This would put everything in a much more reasonable price range.

Plus this adds all of the cool potential touch options and development.
 
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Jarrett Dunn
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Snipes777 wrote:
mltdwn wrote:
People are already doing a lot of this. Just get a flat screen TV and an IR touch frame (which comes with gorilla glass to prevent you from screwing up the display:

IR Touch Frames: http://www.irtouchusa.com/

Example from the NUI Group forums: http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/23038/


Beautiful!

Seems to be about $1,000-$1,500 for the overlay depending on how many touch points you want.

This would put everything in a much more reasonable price range.

Plus this adds all of the cool potential touch options and development.


Yup, I added more links above. That is actually going to be my next game table project next year. I was going to do a coffee table similar to my large game table design, but then thought if instead I made the recessed surface a display like this I could still play everything on it regardless of the size as I could scale the graphics as needed. Then I'll just recess everything a little over 3/4" so I can put a wood panel over the top to cover it up when not in use.
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Celina
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You MUST post pictures of this once you are done!
 
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Mark Ashton
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GeekChic experimented with this idea, but I don't think they ever produced a finished product. You could probably get in touch with them and ask questions.
 
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Jarrett Dunn
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Celinashope wrote:
You MUST post pictures of this once you are done!


Actually this time I'm going to do it as I go. Everyone was wondering "hey how did you build your table" and it is kind of hard to go back over everything without having something to show from that particular point. I figure on doing this around March/April time frame as that's the raise and bonus season around here so I'll take a little and set it aside for it.

I'm just going to use a system running Windows 7 with the NUI stuff enabled that is built into it, and then start out using something like the Java board game software (name escapes me just at this moment, but most all of you have used it) to actually play. That way, unlike how geek chic probably did theirs, I won't have to really develop anything new and custom to get it up and working.
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Wesley R
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mltdwn wrote:
Celinashope wrote:
You MUST post pictures of this once you are done!


Actually this time I'm going to do it as I go. Everyone was wondering "hey how did you build your table" and it is kind of hard to go back over everything without having something to show from that particular point. I figure on doing this around March/April time frame as that's the raise and bonus season around here so I'll take a little and set it aside for it.

I'm just going to use a system running Windows 7 with the NUI stuff enabled that is built into it, and then start out using something like the Java board game software (name escapes me just at this moment, but most all of you have used it) to actually play.


I would be very interested to see it as well for whenever this idea in my head isn't a thought experiment, but a real goal.

Maybe (since I'm subscribed to this thread) you could post a link to your thread when you begin producing the table?

Plus an idea of costs would also be good information to have.

It would be AWESOME to see how it all comes together.
 
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Jarrett Dunn
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Sure I just subscribed myself so I will remember.
 
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