Engineers at Eyebeam, a New York arts and technology center, are drastically reducing the cost of ownership for multitouch tables by taking them open-source. Schematics for the Cubit, a multitouch tabletop display, are available online for people who want to make a scaled-down Microsoft Surface for one tenth the Surface's price.
The Cubit is a boxy tabletop with a clear surface. All a potential multitouch table owner needs to get started is a webcam with an infrared filter and a small image projector. Plug in the webcam, install the Cubit software, turn on the projector and start touching.
Eyebeam fellows Addie Wagenknetch and Stefan Hechenberger said they were releasing the Cubit in order to "prove that anyone could build [a multitouch table]." Besides offering the designs and software online, the two are selling DIY kits that include parts and instructions.
The Cubit was on display at the Maker Faire, along with several other open-source multitouch projects. Though open-source has long been focused on software, it looks like DIYers, like Eyebeam andBug Labs, are now taking the philosophy into the realm of hardware as well. [Technology Review]