MT, Linux, and other stuff

Ryan Huffman

Archive for March 2009

Hello! (Introduction)

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I will be using this blog to track my experiences with new and innovative ways to interact with computers; in particular, I will be exploring the use of multi-touch (mt) screens to create a more immersive computer experience.  I’ve always had an interest in this area of computer interfacing, but it wasn’t until recently that I found a cost-effective way to create and tinker with any of this equipment myself. The Natural User Interface Group is an organization of open source developers creating multi-touch software for cost-effective mt hardware.  I urge you to check out their site and read more!

Between work and a hefty load of school work, I have managed to put together an MTmini – basically, a cheap way to create an mt surface using a picture frame, a cardboard box, printer paper,  and a webcam (in my case, a Playstation Eye).  Using software such as TouchLib, the webcam can pick up shadows on the paper+glass surface, and distinguish them as “blobs.”  At this point a software program can do endless things with this information – create cool particle effects at the point of touch, track drags of the finger and translate these to the movement of on-screen objects, etc. – it really is limitless!

The MTmini that I mocked up needs to be refitted into a larger box, but until I get a larger piece of plexiglass this will have to suffice.  Here is a picture:

My MTmini

Okay, quit laughing.  And yes, that is a Tootsie Pop box.  Haha :).  I should probably tape the entire box to avoid light leaking in, but I will  most likely just replace it with a larger box and a piece of plexiglass pretty soon here anyway.  If I can, I would like to put together an FTIR setup (without a projector or lcd) just to get a little experience with it and to have a potentially larger surface to work with without the need for it to be enclosed (although I believe I would need an IR bandpass filter to exclude the need for an enclosure).

So there’s my introduction.  Sort of.  I guess I didn’t talk about myself, but you can always go to the About Me section to find out about that.  Thanks for reading!

Written by rhuffman

March 19, 2009 at 7:51 am

Posted in MultiTouch

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