The Escritoire: A Personal Projected Display

Mark Ashdown and Peter Robinson
University of Cambridge
Computer Laboratory
J J Thomson Avenue Cambridge CB3 0FD



Keywords:H.5.2, augmented reality, foveal display, focus plus context, virtual paper, bimanual input.


The Escritoire is a horizontal desk surface that uses two overlapping digital projectors to create a foveal display – a large interactive surface that has a high-resolution area to accommodate the user’s focus of attention. In contrast to high cost, multi-projector display walls for group presentations or scientific visualization, it is an augmentation of the personal computer, designed for common tasks such as document viewing and annotation. The system is calibrated using planar homographies, and then warps the projected images in real time to compensate for the unconstrained positions of the projectors. To allow documents to be shared by multiple clients, the software is divided into a hardware-specific client driving the display, and a platform-independent server controlling the desk contents.