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July 18, 2018

Nottingham University researchers develop new responsive dining table concept

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have developed a responsive dining table concept, Conversation for Three, to detect diner’s emotional changes.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have developed a responsive dining table concept, Conversation for Three, to detect diner’s emotional changes.

Mixed reality lab and architecture and built environment division of the university collaborated with artist Jo Fairfax to develop the concept.

Fitted with two webcams placed in a vase at the centre, the table captures emotional changes of diners during their conversation while dining.

These emotions will be projected as different films, animations, conversational suggestions, film quotes and sounds depending on the emotions.

Fairfax said: “I am so grateful I have had this opportunity to develop this piece of work, combining the magic of the digital with the human-ness of the physical.

“I think this fusion creates a deeply rich territory that reflects the combinations that we all have with our imaginations and bodies and shows that in life no two moments are ever the same.”

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The table is programmed to ask one of fifty questions such as, “What is your opinion of freedom of speech?” or “If you were invisible for a day what would you do?” to avoid silence at the table.

The table also displays 3D characters of the chef and the front of house as a film projection depending on emotions detected.

There are 50 possible projections available such as the chef dancing in response to happiness and the front of house character a little drunk while delivering wine.

Also included on the table are rotating salt and pepper shakers, which feature codes linked to the webcams. These shakers turn when a diner has a drink, and trigger lighting is used on the table.

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