Time to bring to you the fourth and newest edition of #ZucchettiTalent, the initiative we designed to provide a stage for younger colleagues in the Zucchetti Group, who all published academic works regarding different topics related to our solution portfolio, giving them the opportunity to share their insights and ideas. For this issue, we sat down with Zyril Errol Gatchalian, one of our Junior Developers in our office in Manno, CH. Right now, he is doing his Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering at SUPSI, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland. For his semester project, he chose to investigate a tabletop application.
Why did you choose this topic?
I wanted to research and investigate the tabletop application because I think it is super important and useful to stay up-to-date with new technologies and to apply them to our everyday life. All this, so we can improve it and give an easier alternative that can lead us to use the technologies of the current era to their full potential.
Why should customers opt for a tabletop projection?
The Tabletop application is a multi-feature system that enables restaurants, for example, to use a simple table with a touchscreen in it, but that would be very expensive. This new type of technology allows anyone to use it in their restaurant, in fact, you only need a 3d camera, a simple table and a projector.
The process is easy: the projector displays the interactive interface (e.g. a menu) on a table, the camera detects the movement and, through an interface, transmits it to a computer. By using simple technology, we can achieve something modern and new that could bring us to innovative ideas.
What is the technology behind it?
You might think it is easy to implement, but it is not that simple. The system uses a procedure of image detection that recognizes when a hand moves inside an area of the table defined by a frame, all this employing a neural network trained to detect hands. After this, the software creates a point and, based on the movement of this point; it performs a gesture in the interface.
The software implemented is flexible thanks to its modular structure, so the restaurant management is not forced to use to a specific interface, but in fact can customize it according to the look & feel and needs of the business.
What are the benefits of using that technology?
By using this technology, we can reduce the interaction between the client and staff, in order to optimize the order flow. In fact, by using this, the customer’s choices are directly forwarded from the table to the POS system, so all the orders can be processed faster.
What are the so-called “black areas”?
“Black areas” are part of the table that do not have anything on its surface, they help to define where the user-interface is projected. This functionality gives a more friendly and a clearer user experience, since the camera will define where the system cannot “draw” the menu, and the interface will adapt and not project anything on that area.
Are there any other functionalities besides the ordering?
Yes, the software is already equipped with several useful widgets like the “Call waiter” button, single or multi-user games, video or image advertisements and more. Furthermore, the interface can be customized, so that the client can create his own widgets or views. This tabletop application can be calibrated so that the client can make the system function by pressing a single button without having to set the parameters inside the program.