Australia — Technology commonly used in smart phones and tablets has been enlarged to the size of a table and is now being used to help rural communities prepare for bushfires.
PhD candidate with the University of Tasmania Mark Brown has developed an interactive surface computer, a table sized touchpad, that can display layers of interactive maps and react to objects placed on it.
The table sized tablet has been developed in association with NRM North and the Tasmanian Fire Service and has already been trialled in three Tasmanian rural communities, Lorinna, Lilydale and Ferntree.
Mark Brown says he was interested to see how emerging technologies could be used to give people an understanding of how their decisions have an impact on the environment, from weeds, water quality to bushfires.
The table is a standard height, is 80 cm wide and 110 cm long and can have 6 to 8 people simultaneously using it.
Tasmania Fire Service Community Development Coordinator Peter Middleton says they will first work with bush fire prone rural communities in Tasmania to trial the technology.