Optical Chess

Previous Project

Optical Chess is a strategic board game created using the theoretical idea of lasers and mirrors, as well as many of the concepts and terminology from the more standard game of Chess. The game's initial objectives were to be easy to learn, to be difficult to master, to be strictly strategic with no element of randomness, and to lend itself to emergent strategies that appear after the application of a few very simple rules, rather than have rules that are intended to create certain strategies. Optical Chess lends itself to many possible implementations. Here, it is demonstrated using the Tangible Tracking Table. An infrared camera mounted inside the table detects the fiducials on the bottom of the different game pieces through the reacTIVision software package. After that, the locations and orientations of these tangible pieces are fed into the game engine, which in turn simulates the behavior of lasers and mirrors. In the future, users could perform optical experiments on this interactive tabletop display without setting complicated environments and with minimal risk of eye damage from laser beams.



Start Date

Aug. 1, 2008

Finish Date

Aug. 1, 2010


Ali Mazalek


Andy Wu


David Joyner


Ellen Do