Archive for March 2009
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:
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!