Categories
Multi-Touch Tangible Interfaces

Touchlib Config.xml Blobconfig Parameters, What They Do and What They Do not Do

Recently, I have been working on the Touchlib in order to refine some things, which always bothered me and to add some things of which I think that they would come in handy e.g. a full-grown Pointgrey Flycapture2 filter that allows me to edit the Pointgrey Firefly MV camera’s settings in a way that I described here.

After being able to compile the Touchlib I quickly grew curious about what all those blobconfig parameters in the Touchlib’s config.xml REALLY do.

Categories
Multi-Touch

Sound Design (for Multi-Touch Apps)

Sound design has been an issue that I have disregarded so far in my multi-touch applications. However, a good sound design should be very beneficial for user experience in a multi-touch installation.

As I had no clue on how to create sounds I have been happy when I came across the sound design tutorials of Nick Maxwell. Actually, he sells howto videos for sound design with Ableton Live but he presents his knowledge also via YouTube. Here is an example:

Categories
Multi-Touch

Open Source NTrig and Stantum drivers for Linux

The Laboratoire d’informatique interactive has published open source drivers for Broadcom 5974, Stantum, NTrig or DiamondTouch surface multi-touch devices:

More information about the Stantum SMK-15.4 Multi-Touch Development Kit.

Categories
Multi-Touch Tangible Interfaces

TUIO 1.0 Protocol Specification

Finally, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona guys around Martin Kaltenbrunner released a special page for TUIO that explains the protocol in more detail and with some examples. In the past it had not been that easy to extract all necessary information from their TUIO paper.

Just in time, before they will hopefully release TUIO 2, which supports OSC via TCP and thus a support for Flash without the need for Flosc or Toxy as Flash does not support native connections via UDP sockets.

Additionally, they moved the reacTIVision site to sourceforge, which seems to be a step that makes sense.

Categories
Multi-Touch tuio

Stantum SMK-15.4 Multi-Touch Development Kit

I recently had opportunity to lay my fingers onto a Stantum SMK-15.4 Multi-Touch Development Kit. The SMK-15.4 is a TFT panel with a resolution of 1280*800 pixels, which is equipped with a foil that contains a net of transparent capacitors, which can track multiple touches. Thus, the SMK-15.4’s touch principle is similar to the iPhone’s.

The Stantum SMK 15.4 Multi-Touch Device
The Stantum SMK 15.4 Multi-Touch Device

I have used it to develop the multi-touch parts of the TUIO-driven Flash multi-touch application Pf Design Media Installation. The SMK-15.4 comes with drivers for Windows and for the Macintosh. Additionally, for Windows there is a small application available that tranlates Stantum multi-touch events into TUIO events that can be (more or less easily) processed by a Flash Actionscript application.

The image quality of the device is not too good. The foil takes away lots of screen brightness and the colors tend to be fairly flat. The SMK-15.4 produces some error blobs quite next to the center of the screen, which bothers a bit. The whole appearence and manufacturing of the device is fairly prototypeish. I would not trust it to be used in an everyday application because the device and the touch foil coating seems to be rather fragile. However, it has been reported by a Stantum engineer that the panel can be equipped with a thin sheet of acrylic glass, which does not prevent touches from being realized. I only tested this with a thin sheet of paper and the tracking worked through the paper smoothly.

The apperance and the performance of the SMK-15.4 can not overcome the impression that the device is still a prototype that I would not use in a productive environment. However, the device has been a hell of a lot helpful to develop, test and debug my multi-touch application and especially tasks that were related to multi-finger input like pinching and rotating.

Thus, multi-touch software developers will have good use of the SMK-15.4. Everyone else should think twice before buying one.

A picture of my setup with the Stantum SMK-15.4 and my MacBook Pro running under Windows Vista:

Stantum SMK 15.4 Connected to MacBook Pro under Windows Vista
Stantum SMK 15.4 Connected to MacBook Pro under Windows Vista

On the Stantum SMK-15.4 you can see Pf Design Media Installation in this picture.

If you are looking for a Stantum to TUIO overlay you might find it here.