Once upon a time, the only interactive table technology that you would run into was the occasional sit-down Pac-Man machine in an arcade or restaurant. Outside of that specific scenario, the most interacting you would generally do with a horizontal surface would involve setting things on it.
But the advent of touch screen technology has made for a different world – when you’re standing up and when you’re sitting down. More and more, the surfaces that we didn’t think about are springing to life, and are beginning to appeal to advertisers, educators, and tech-savvy enterprises alike as prime spaces for interactive screens that augment and enhance the experiences of their users.
While such innovations are just now beginning to hit the market, being aware of the innovations in touch screen tables isn’t something you’re going to want to sit on. So take a look at these following three examples of touch screen tables at the cutting edge, and think about what possibilities the technology might open up for people while they work, play, and even eat.
SMART Table Teaching Devices
If you’ve spent any time around kids recently, you know that there is a whole generation now being raised on educational touch screen tablet software. But just because today’s teaching tools are tech-enabled doesn’t mean that this new era of digital natives has to live in the bubbles of their own private devices. The new innovative touch screen-enabled SMART table improves on the idea of tablet-based learning by opening it up to communal classroom collaboration. From a marketing perspective, it’s good to keep in mind that table-based tech toys that blur the lines between entertainment and education will, in the future, be what more and more teachers, parents, and kids themselves are asking for.
Interactive Restaurant Tables
One of the first places touch screens caught on outside of smartphone interfaces was in quick-serve restaurants. Touch screen-enabled soda machines with drastically more hybrid flavor options than traditional fountains have become a regular sight, and touch screen kiosk ordering for burgers and fries that has been piloted abroad over the years has finally been making its way stateside.
But there’s another, more robust use of touch screens that may soon see its day as people warm up to the technology as a part of their fast food experience. Some companies have been piloting touch screen tables that build an interactive menu right there into the surface off of which people are eating – so the customer has a graphically-enhanced experience of ordering food and drinks (and paying) directly from the table.
In-Home Smart Coffee Tables
A few years ago, Microsoft debuted an in-home touch screen table based around the concept of such a device/furniture hybrid playing a central role in the home. It didn’t gain much traction at the time. But since then, small personal touch screen tablets, smart homes and in-home personal assistants have all caught on like wildfire, and so the idea of a coffee table that also acts as the nerve center of a wired home is coming back around.
Just recently, as reported on The Verge, a French company has reintroduced the concept with a multi-user touch screen table that runs Windows. As smart homes grow in popularity and more vendors try to position their products as must-haves in IoT environments, it’s entirely possible that we’ll find ourselves walking into more homes where the coffee table will control everything from the thermostat to the locks on the doors – and also enables the parents to work and the kids to play games (or vice versa). And while it’s hard to imagine that an ebook built right into the coffee table could replace an art-filled curio sitting on top of it, you never really know how these innovations will change the home and consumer landscape until it happens.
Author Bio | Casey Dubbs | Horizon Display
Casey Dubbs, Marketing Manager for Horizon Display. Casey is a classic over-achiever who likes to get the job done right and can’t stand when things are left unfinished or with unmet potential. She is passionate about implementing others’ vision into reality. When she is not obsessing over marketing, she can be found in her garage working on her latest woodworking project. #buildlikeagirl