A while back, I had the privilege of having Xiang Cao, an associate researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the Computer Mediated Living Group, visit me here in Redmond. Xiang is one of the researchers (also including John Helmes, Siân E. Lindley and Abigail Sellen) who worked on a project called TellTable.

When you were a kid, how did you tell stories? Did you draw pictures, act them out or put on a puppet show? I’m pretty sure you didn’t become a video editor.. most of you*.  That’s where TellTable comes in.

TellTable is brilliant piece of work created in the Socio-Digital Systems Group that enables real-time interactive storytelling. There’s no video editing or complex computer interactions to learn. With Microsoft Surface, it is done in a very easy and natural way. While the primary focus of the team’s research was on primary school children, I could see many possibilities where narrative with images or objects could be enabled using this method. Libraries or museums might benefit from TellTable, for instance.

Here’s the video that I shot with Xiang demonstrating the application on Surface.

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[Video: Storytelling with TellTable]

- Eric (follow Surface on Twitter and Facebook)

* There is another solution for video editing these days with Windows 7, as Kylie showed us.