Insert Coin: Playsurface open-source multitouch computing table

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.


A Microsoft Surface in every office? Yeah, fat chance. At $8,000, you may never see Samsung's SUR40 glow in the wild, but budget versions of the backlit HD table have begun popping up, such as the Merel Mtouch, which retails for half the price. Still, four grand is a lot to ask from casual users -- we need a bargain-basement option to help catapult the concept to success. The Playsurface could be one solution, with an open-source design and a much more affordable price tag. The multitouch computing table is the product of Templeman Automation, and its creators have begun promoting their concept on Kickstarter. In its current iteration, the Playsurface will ship in two flavors -- short, to double as a coffee table, and tall for stand-up applications -- with a $1,750 pledge netting backers a complete kit.

Setting out to fulfill the goal of widespread adaptation, the creator is promising one Playsurface kit with a $1,750 pledge, including a Windows computer, a short-throw 1280 x 800-pixel DLP projector and a transparent touch surface, all housed within a self-assembled wood enclosure. There's also an infrared LED strip to aid with input recognition and something called a "Blob Board," which serves as a dedicated hardware processor tasked with touch detection and connects to the computer via USB. A $350 pledge gets you a Blob Board alone, while $650 is matched with a table (sans computer and projector) and $1,250 will net you a full kit, less the computer. There's just shy of four weeks left to go to get your Playsurface pledge in -- hit up the source link to make it happen.

Previous project update: Our last featured project, the HAND Stylus for touch devices, has more than doubled its funding goal of $25,000. There's still a month and change left to go, so head on over to Kickstarter to make a $25 pledge and save five bucks off the estimated retail price.