Digital ActivationEdutainmentfuturisticMotion Graphicsprojection mappingTouch applicationtradeshowVideo Activation

Behind the Curtain: An Exclusive Look at our Interactive Table Top

By June 21, 2016 May 22nd, 2020 No Comments

Each activation that NEXT/NOW dreams up and custom builds has it’s own particular path from birth to completion. From game mechanics for our interactive virtual reality experiences, to video shoots for our digital augmented reality activations, from programming for transformative photo booths, to LED manipulation for our larger than life video sculptures, and the best of next-gen, well, everything, for our interactive creative spaces. Each project has it’s own journey and from time to time we like to offer a peak into the working mechanics of those journeys.

The project:
Recently the National Restaurant Association asked us to build them a high tech information hub as a centerpiece for their 2016 convention in Chicago. We happily served them up a custom touch activated, projection mapped, sculptural table that allowed four users at a time to explore dozens of topics and learn more about the National Restaurant Association’s member benefits, resources and initiatives, and events at the show. As users interacted with the touch screens, the table would become alive with moving images, bright colors, and important keywords. The shape of the table allowed for specialized topographical zones where images and subject matter would come alive based upon the user’s interactions. Needless to say, it was a hit and an unforgettable addition to this year’s convention.

Here’s how it was done:
We worked with a local fabrication shop to create a custom raised table with several circular planes that we could use for projection surfaces. They initially provided us with a prototype built to spec from light grade foam that we used to map three separate HD projectors on. Our art department went to work building the beautiful images and design that would live on this one-of a kind sculpture, while our programmers were mapping out the content that allow users to navigate their own journeys through the information.

Deep in the underbelly of our offices, the images and projectors were synced; a very thorough testing period was conducted where each selection and every letter was in its right place. This level of testing is standard at NEXT/NOW since we pride ourselves on the level of scrutiny we give each project before we unveil.

Meanwhile, the hero table was built out of high-grade industrial foam using all sorts of tools such as table saws, sanders, jigsaws and more. From there we installed 4 dynamic touch screen interfaces that would give the users control of the table.

The glowing and interactive table mesmerized and drew attendees to interact with its innovative design and served the conference as a central point of interest. You can watch the video here.

To see more of original activations we have created for our clients, explore our website at or visit our showroom in Chicago’s West Loop by writing us at

Next/Now Agency

1200 West Lake Street
Suite 2
Chicago, IL 60607

T: 312.945.6222