TaPuMa – a Tangible Public Map from the Tangible Media Group at MIT

Recently, I’ve been studying some of the interesting things that have come out of The Media Lab at MIT. One of the most interesting departments is the Tangible Media Group. So here’s a video on TaPuMa.

TaPuMa is a digital, tangible public map that allows people to use their own belongings or the everyday objects they carry with them to access relevant, just-in-time information and to find locations of places or people. TaPuMa envisions that conventional maps can be augmented by using the unique identities and affordances of the everyday objects.

The TaPuMa system uses a table-top environment where map and dynamic content is projected on the table. A camera mounted above the table identifies and tracks the locations of the objects on the surface. A software program identifies and registers the location of objects on the table. On the basis of identifications of the objects, the software program provides relevant information visualization to be shown on the table. The projector augments the table and objects on the table with projected digital information from overhead along with the map. The project explores a novel interaction mechanism where physical objects are used as interfaces to digital information. TaPuMa allows users to acquire information through tangible media, the things they carry.

TqaPuMa was developed by Pranav Mistry of The Media Laboratory at MIT. You can see some of his other projects at

One Comment

  1. David
    Posted December 28, 2008 at 12:09 am | #

    This is great.

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