A Virtual Sandtray on a Tabletop Computer
Master's thesis by Thomas ten Cate
We explore the applications of shallow-depth three-dimensional interaction on a touch-sensitive tabletop display. To guide this exploration, we chose the particular application of a virtual, simulated sandtray, such as those used in certain kinds of play therapy. This sandtray program is developed and evaluated in cooperation with several experts in sandtray therapy.
The usefulness of a virtual sandtray for play therapy is discussed, and some possibilities of the virtual world are explored to see what advantages a digital sandtray can have over its physical counterpart.
Interaction with 3D objects on a tabletop is extended from previous work, allowing for full control over all six degrees of freedom. For further manipulations, the concept of virtual tools is introduced. Such tools avoid modality in the interface, thereby allowing for their use in a collaborative, multi-user setting.
You can download Thomas ten Cate's Master's thesis and a number of his videos here. Thomas' work also lead to publications at two prestegious venues: one at ITS 2009 and one at CHI 2010.