Circle Twelve Inc was founded in 2008 and is focused on helping people work together. While Circle Twelve is a new company, it builds on a deep history of technology in the field of tabletop computing initially developed at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, well known in academic circles as MERL.

Beginning in 1999 with work initiated by Chia Shen, PhD, now at Harvard University, and continuing over the next several years, researchers at MERL wanted to address a significant shortcoming of computers. While traditional computer interfaces were good at supporting the needs of individuals with the personal computer and at allowing people to work together over distances through computer networks, computers did not support people working in the same place at the same time. People "collaborated" with interfaces designed for a single user by letting one team member operate the mouse and keyboard, leaving others in the group to peer over shoulders. The results were frustrating then, and they continue to frustrate people today. To address this, MERL researchers developed technologies including tabletop graphical user interfaces, shared display groupware, multi-touch and multi-user hardware, direct touch gesture interactions, and more.

As the exclusive licensee to many of these technologies including DiamondTouch, Circle Twelve now carries forward the baton, turning tabletop computing technology into commercial hardware and software products that people can buy. Market research reveals that 70% of all business meetings take place between two or three people face-to-face, and the fact that traditional computer interfaces do not support this most common of interaction between people is the principle motivation behind Circle Twelve and its enthusiasm for tabletop computing. And we're not alone. There is a growing community of users and researchers, building momentum toward the vision that tabletop computing interfaces like DiamondTouch will become standard office equipment. Circle Twelve is proud to lead that charge.

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