Never-Ending Drawing Machine: collaborative paper computing system


At MIT's Center for Future Storytelling, my friend David Robert is co-developing the Never-Ending Drawing Machine, a mixed reality "paper computing" platform for collaboration. The system enables you to work in a physical notebook and then bring it to the system to share and augment the pages digitally over the network with other people. It's based on Derivative's TouchDesigner software and an Arduino-based physical computing platform. From the project description:

For each page, the system loads the appropriate background content and lets you take a picture and send it back and forth to your friend or collaborator using an identical table somewhere else on the network (co-located or remote). Your collaborator also has an enhanced sketchbook and if it's on the same page each table will see everyone's latest additions.

Participants don't have to be on the same page. The sketchbooks allow non-linear, asynchronous access to the evolving, co-created content with a physical editing interface. It's a cool analog/digital hybrid model that requires no expertise and is fun just to use. Sound may also be recorded - on a blank page for example, and sent to inspire someone else's drawings.

Never-Ending Drawing Machine