OpenPool Lets Fish and Lights Dance and Play with Moving Objects

AUSTIN ( — Your local restaurant or billiard hall could be getting a high-tech upgrade thanks to OpenPool, an open source project on display at the Gaming Expo during the South by Southwest Interactive conference. A group of open source developers showed off this new interactive motion technology by projecting lights and schools of fish onto a pool table and letting conference attendees interact with the images.

The setup utilized two Microsoft Kinect motion sensors as well as a projector set up above the pool table. In this particular demo, spotlights danced and pools of fish swam around the table, but an aquarium theme isn’t the only visual design the OpenPool project can enable. The group had a video showing several different environments. OpenPool is simply the technology; the only design limits are with the developers who build on the project.

In terms of commercial applications, the creators expect to see OpenPool’s technology incorporated into bars, restaurants or any social spot where atmosphere is a key factor. Schools of fish could be swimming around your favorite dish at your local diner, rushing away as you pass the salt. However, since the technology is free, anyone can build their own OpenPool table, entertaining friends and family or creating a cool interactive surface for themselves.

There were a few stutters in the projections during our time rolling around billiard balls, and some lag from time to time, but the technology was responsive the majority of the time. Since this is an open-source project, inspired developers will be able to dive into the code themselves, improving certain aspects and making the overall project better.

The code isn’t yet available, but the developers at OpenPool should be posting it to Github, a social coding website ideal for open-source projects, at some point before the end of SXSW Interactive. Once live, anyone will be able to copy the code to their own computers and add their own features with the Java programming language. 

Dann Berg
Follow Dann Berg on Twitter ,Google+. or at Novice No Longer. Follow LAPTOPMAG on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
Dann Berg on
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options