The Playsurface, a spin-off project from Templeman Automation that aims to provide a low-cost alternative to interactive touch table devices like Microsoft’s PixelSense (formerly known as the surface), was at CES showing off their functioning units, which the company will be shipping out to 40 or so Kickstarter backers this month. The Playsurface made headlines when it launched on Kickstarter back in May, reaching almost double its $40,000 funding goal.
Playsurface’s goal, unlike a lot of the large-sized shared touchscreen surfaces we’ve seen, is to be as affordable, open, and hackable as possible, with the aim of being a legitimate option for use in education even in situations where budget might otherwise prohibit the use of such technologies. Templeman Automation teamed up with Tufts University to help boost its education mission, and target applications for schools and students more effectively. To help with that goal, they’re looking into just what kind of “smart tangible” accessories like the one that replicates an X-ray/microscope device seen in the video, would be most useful to K-12 educators. These accessories could be what turns the Playsurface from a great tech demo into a genuinely useful and widely used way for schools all around the world to replace not just computing devices, but a variety of expensive and hard-to-source teaching objects that might not otherwise be an option.
Just under $3,000, the goal is to get it under $1,000 and TA believes that’s entirely possible, thanks to improvements in manufacturing efficiencies and materials. The Playsurface is available for general pre-order now, with shipments to retail customers ready to begin after the first devices roll out to the company’s Kickstarter supporters.