A new project currently in development by Microsoft codenamed Zanzibar, takes the form of a flexible smart mat that can be used to provide a new interactive platform for children to combine toys and software applications such as Minecraft. Check out the demonstration video below to learn more about the “portable and flexible, tangible interaction platform” which is Zanzibar.
Project Zanzibar allows kids to bring their toys into an interactive experience and watch them come alive through sound, visuals, special effects. The Microsoft research team explained more about the new interactive platform “Project Zanzibar, a completely new sensing platform in the form of a flexible, portable mat that has the ability to locate, sense and communicate with objects as well as sense a user’s touch. The Project Zanzibar mat combines capacitive sensing and Near Field Communication (NFC) in a novel way, enabling multitouch and hover gesture input to coexist with physical object manipulation and control. The Project Zanzibar research platform also introduces the power of portability in a tangible user interface because rather than provide its own display, it takes advantage of existing devices such as tablets. Roll it up, stow it and break it out at a picnic or on a train trip. Or in any room in the house that has a screen. “
To learn more about the new Microsoft smart mat which is currently under development jump over to the Microsoft research website by using the link below.