Beeld en Geluid

Royal Table

The Dutch Institute of Image and Audio archives and preserves all dutch audio-visual content generated by the public broadcast agencies. The institute regularly exhibits material from the archives in thematic expositions. For an exhibition regarding the history and lives of the Dutch royal family, Haute Technique created four educational games on royal etiquette and traditions, which were presented on a custom designed touchtable interface.

These traditions and etiquettes can be quite hard to grasp for the target audience; children from age six to fourteen. So to keep the experience playful yet educational, each game conveys a sense of humor and uses physical objects to interact with the screen.

In order to learn about the principles of royal table arrangement, the children place actual cutlery on the touchscreen’s surface. And to discover about royal vocatives and table settings, they can play with pawns representing international royals and governmental figures.

As icing on the cake, every game is introduced and commented on by etiquette-expert Reinildis van Ditzhuyzen. She appears at the beginning and end of a game on a second videoscreen at the head of the interactive table.


Because regular touchscreens don’t recognise objects placed on the display, a Microsoft Surface was built into the table. This screen-computer hybrid uses infrared light to see visual input from it’s surface, much like a modern scanner captures content touching it’s glass. With this feature, we were able to give the cutlery and pawns special marker codes on the bottom which could be ‘seen’ by the screen.

We implemented software that could utilise these markers to identify the different objects placed on the table, and recognise their location and rotation. That’s how the games were able give accurate feedback, when for instance, a spoon was placed on the wrong side of the plate or wasn’t perpendicular enough to the table border.


In collaboration with