Permulin: Mixed-Focus Collaboration on Multi-View Tabletops

Interactive tables are well suited for co-located collaboration. Most prior research assumed users to share the same overall display output; a key challenge was the appropriate partitioning of screen real estate, assembling the right information “at the users’ finger-tips” through simultaneous input. A different approach is followed in recent multi-view display environments: they offer personal output for each team member, yet risk to dissolve the team due to the lack of a common visual focus. Our approach combines both lines of thought, guided by the question: “What if the visible output and simultaneous input was partly shared and partly private?” We present Permulin as a concrete corresponding implementation, based on a set of novel interaction concepts that support fluid transitions between individual and group activities, coordination of group activities, and concurrent, distraction-free in-place manipulation. Study results indicate that users are able to focus on individual work on the whole surface without notable mutual interference, while at the same time establishing a strong sense of collaboration.

CHI 2014 – Video

Permulin 2.0

We are currently working on an updated version of the Permulin tabletop. It features a large 65' screen with capacitive touch. The table frame was produced by Vario office furniture and the pane of glass was provided by Schott.

At the moment, we are combining 3D printed tangible objects and augmented reality with our current version of Permulin.

Permulin covered on the rheinmaintv news


  • Dr. Roman Lissermann
  • Dr. Jochen Huber
  • Martin Schmitz
  • Jan Riemann
  • Sebastian Günther
  • Dr. Jürgen Steimle
  • Max Mühlhäuser


  • Matthias Eichholz
  • Rene Hertling