Research at the ISNM

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January 27, 2010

Prof. Schrader talks about the SmartAssist Project at the 3rd German Congress on Ambient Assisted Living in Berlin.

AAL 2010

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Pervasive Tangible Table-Top Game


Prof. Dr. Andreas Schrader

Bashar Al Takrouri, Luis Bustamante, Antonio Canonico, Tadele Feyissa, Michal Janiszewski, Evgenia Nikolova, Mantas Talmantas, Mpho Setuke, Rangga Winantyo

Tangible Media, Pervasive Games, Table-Top Games

Pictory has been developed within the Game Design course at the ISNM in 2006/2007. It is a new pervasive table-top game using augmented video and sound for two teams. It combines social interactivity with creative thinking. Pictory enhances the table-top paradigm with online aspects by integrating online image database search during the game flow. Teams have to protect their castles by specifying search keywords that are mapped to image collections retrieved from online web services.

Pictory Screenshot

In this way, Pictory combines online-gaming with physical pervasive game setup. Pictory is a socially interactive, learning promoting, and thinking/imagination enhancing game that brings together human players, objects, physical spaces, newly developed system architectures, and existing search engines. The game setup consists of a graphical surface for the table projection, table equipment for the interaction and a computer below the table containing the game software.

As our main image search engine we use Google Search as today’s leading service Since Google does not provide an API for searching images, we are querying Google by a normal HTTP request. The returned HTML page is parsed with a simple regular expression. Hence, thumbnails, URL’s, and statistical information are extracted. Furthermore, the thumbnails are processed by being masked, resized, rotated, and localized properly to match the graphical layout of the game and to optimize result retrieval speed.

The main idea of the system architecture of Pictory, realized in C#, is to separate the visual layer from the logical/control layer, thus reducing the level of dependency between the two layers and increasing the game flexibility. The architecture functionalities are divided into two engines - Graphical (G) engine and Game Logic and Control (C&L) engine.

More information can be found at:

  • Project Page
  • Bashar Al Takrouri, Luis Bustamante, Antonio Canonico, Michal Janiszewski, Evgenia Nikolova, Mantas Talmantas and Andreas Schrader
    Pictory - A Hybrid Augmented Table-Top Game using Image Search Engines
    4th International Symposium on Pervasive Gaming Applications (PerGames 2007),
    Salzburg, Austria, June 11-12, 2007.