thomas mayer’s ping pong table delivers realtime data visualizations for trainers + players
all images courtesy of thomas mayer




the basic idea of thomas mayer’s bachelor thesis was to track the ping pong ball in realtime to create data visualizations for trainers and players. after a few weeks of working, he started developing a project mapped interface for the table to show the collected data. by displaying game obstacles on the surface, mayer figured out that he can totally change the game play.


video courtesy of mayer




on the dashboard, all the information for players are collected in different panels, which include an abstract documentation and calendar function, a collection of personal high scores and facts to review the performance and development of the player.

the setup of projection equipment 



‘it was challenging to design a functional interface which is projectable on a ping pong table taking in consideration the players’ ergonomic,’ explains thomas mayer. ‘project resolution, layout of the interface and arrangement of buttons were the biggest problems that I had to test in many prototypes.’

behind-the-scenes computing required for the project




in his office, mayer setup a ping pong table surrounded by technical equipment. after several tests, he installed two sony ‘playstation CL-eye’ cameras and a full HD projector to work on the tracking of the balls and processing of the collected data. the first running prototype enabled him to include players in his testing to ensure a more user-orientated development. 

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video courtesy of thomas mayer