The private view was a real success for our multitouch-able self-built table with the Digital Volvelles interface (Please have a look at the ‘ABOUT’ section of this blog, if you want to know what it’s all about the Digital Volvelles). It was great to observe how people interact with it and how intuitively most of them had understood what they have to drag, touch, turn, etc. It has proven that the concept, the design, and the implementation work well together and that all the research and work has finally payed off. To get first hand feedback from the users was one of the best experiences during the private view and this will hopefully enable us to continue with the improvement of the interface and the multitouch-table. Thanx to everyone, who could make it to the show. It was a great evening.
Guests at the private view discover how to use the Digital Volvelles:
The set up for the Central Saint Martins Final MA Show startet at 8am sharp at the Mall Galleries. Within 2 days the whole show was set up. Our multitouch-able table with the Digital Volvelles interface had to face some problems with the gallery lighting, which was interfering with our LED-sensorial movement tracking of the table. It took a lot of attempts, patience, and staying power until we realized that also the reflecting light off the white gallery walls was interfering with the multitouch-table. The light temperature of the bulbs was too warm. The touchscreen functioned without any problems in a brightly lit room where ‘cold’ artificial neonlight was used. Again, a new thing we learned, even on the spot of an exhibition. Johannes might now turn to laserlight for table version 2.0.
Setting up the table and the interface:
The empty gallery space in the beginning of the set up:
I’ve finished the working paper that is going to be an essential manufacturing paper as it consists of all the facts, figures, and measurements concerning y/x axis values, colour values, type values, etc. It also explains the status and movements of the wheels and their outputs with detailed storyboards and further describtions.
It starts with a visual about sizes, types, and transparencies:
This is followed by another visual overview about the main 3 elements of the interface: sidewheels, centerwheels, and overlayers.
The paper includes detailed storyboards about movements, hierarchies, drags&drops, overlayers behaviours, etc. Here are a few examples:
1. Wheel hierarchy – order and re-order:
2. Turning wheels
3. Interaction between wheels, and wheels with overlayers
All visuals are created with Illustrator, which allows a really good work procedure with Flash.
I’ve written in a previous post that there is the idea of a standardised technique to connect multi-touch hardware to multi-touch software via TUIO. As we want to concentrate on Flash as visualisation and interaction layer for our digital volvelles I will present a Flash AS3 API for multi-touch with TUIO in this and further posts.
The touchlib project from the NUI Group is a collection of software tools for the realisation of a multi-touch table. It provides tools like digital image processing for the tracking of fingers on a multi-touch screen, a TUIO server and so on. It additionally provides a Flash AS3 library in order to process TUIO messages inside of Flash and to provide standard interface elements e.g. sliders.
All Flash applications that are being built with touchlib’s AS3 library can not only be used with a TUIO enabled multi-touch device but also with a mouse. This offers advantages in the development process as you do not (necessarily) need a multi-touch device in order to use your application. This will be very useful if more than one person are involved in the development process (as in our case a designer, a Flash developer and a hardware developer are involved) because everyone can get a feeling for the interaction with the application without the need for a colocated multi-touch device.
The touchlib project including the mentioned AS3 library can be downloaded here. The AS3 library with demo applications can be found in the following folder within the zip file: touchlib -> AS3 -> src.
For some videos of our Flash multi-touch applications also see:
Use the IR Pen with MS Paint. In the second image I drew with Paint I wrote “Hello Mel” but the bad auto white balance function of my bad Nokia 6610 Navigator cam (which cam sucks extraordinarily!!!) prevented readability.
Use IR Pen with MS Explorer (NOT Internet Explorer)
I compiled Johnny Chung Lee’s Wii Whiteboard Application and used it with an infrared (IR) light pen that I built on my own (see figure 1).
I projected a videobeamer’s image onto white cardboard (the ones which are used for passepartouts) that stood on an easel. Before that I put grey cardboard onto the easel but the grey cardboard produced bad reflection of infrared light which caused bad tracking results by the Wiimote.
Figure 1: My IR pen (with old switch) and Wiimote with its “customised” stand
Anyway, this is just the kick-off for further actions with the Wiimote and IR pens but the setup for this was really hard to establish.
Finally: Guess to which music I was listening to!