Drops of Wisdom is a three-meter diameter interactive tabletop display commissioned by Water New South Wales for the Warragamba Dam visitor centre. The Drops of Wisdom circular table is the central feature in the permanent exhibition titled ‘Water for Life’ which tells the story of Sydney’s dams and catchments, and the history and future of Sydney’s water supply. The table displays 40 individual stories in four thematic groups – Water, Catchments, Dam, and People. These stories provide insights into the history of Warragamba Dam - Australia’s largest urban water supply dam, as well as contemporary aspects of water usage, conservation, and sustainability.
A custom developed multi-touch tracking system developed by RMIT researchers enables 12 visitors to interact with the display at any one time. The interactive surface enables visitors to ‘catch’ moving icons that seem to drop and splash onto its watery surface. When a visitor touches an icon it moves to a position in front of them and unfolds to present an interactive story tablet that includes scrollable text, video footage, computer generated graphics, and sound. As an added attraction and challenge to younger students and children, a group of elusive platypuses constantly dart across the table. When ‘caught’ they will playfully swim in front of the user.
Drops of Wisdom utilises cutting-edge software for interactive 3D graphics, combined with a multi-touch gesture recognition system that makes the entire tabletop touch sensitive. The 3D graphics are projected onto the table using 4K resolution projection, providing a large, seamless, and continuous circular image. Sound is produced in real-time through a multi-channel soundscape that envelopes the installation. The multimedia application is designed for flexibility as new educational content is added to the database over time.
Project timeline: January 2019 - June 2020
Key contributors: Jonathan Duckworth, Ross Eldridge
This project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets: