Updates

So some steps have been taken and I just wanna document it 🙂

Firstly, we’ve got a newsletter. This way, if you don’t wanna be part of the  Facebook group or give us your number, all you really need to do is just check your e-mail. To sign up, click the link: http://wordpress.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=95f062cf1dd6bcb776be89169&id=2eea2d2efe

Next, we’ve got some really big names in interface and design helping us along the way 🙂 We’d like to send special thanks to Ideum (http://www.ideum.com/) and the NUI Group (http://nuigroup.com/go/lite) for all their help.

And finally, some updates regarding the organization of the group. We finally have an advisor, Dr. Susan Friedman (thanks to her!). As of now, Kareem and I are teaching ourselves how to program in the necessary languages as well.

And now for the part where I ask you guys for help haha. We need people willing to program in Kivy, Python, and C++. We need people who are interested in making apps and people interested in helping organize the framework Kareem and I have settled on as well. And lastly, we need a time that’s good for everyone to meet (this doesn’t even take much work, just e-mail times you’re free :P).

But yeah, enough asking haha. For the times, just e-mail your availability to LatentThought@gmail.com or kjg0003@uah.edu. Thanks guys!

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And So It Begins!

Prototype: Done! We made a mini-touch screen yesterday, and it turned out perfectly. Pictures and videos included 😀

This is all we used. Literally. A cardboard box, a webcam, 2 sheets of paper, and a frame for a certificate that you got when you were in elementary school.

Taped up the corners of the cardboard box.

Put webcam inside box.

Another webcam inside box picture.

Taped the paper to the glass of the certificate frame, put the glass back in, and taped to the top of the box.

And our result?

 

The left hand side is the shadow of our hands on the glass. The right hand shows where the points of touch are recognized. If Kareem wouldn’t have been a pansy, we could have made his laptop touch screen with stuff laying just around the house 🙂

Easy peezy lemon squeezy haha!

Design Finished

As of today, the design for the multitouch table is completed. It’s a 49” by 28” table standing 36” tall. We’ve chosen to make it of wood that’s going to be painted (what color, we don’t know yet. The screen is  52” piece of tempered glass. We’re gonna put in a sub-woofer and 5 speakers that go along with it for pretty decent quality sound, and it’s going to operate on Windows 8 if possible.

Software designs are going to be underway soon. This is likely to be the longest leg of the design as well, because we have to find a way to alter the compatibility of certain programs to that of Windows 8.

Also, for those who read Kareem’s post and were confused about “blobs and fiducials”, this is a basic version of how the table is going to operate (time for some amazing drawings from MS Paint!)

The inside of the table is lined with infrared lights. When on, these lights will flood the bottom of the table up until the blue line that I drew, which is a diffusive material. This material will let absorb the infrared light and reflect a minuscule portion of it, but it won’t let light escape beyond it. When a hand is present on the glass screen on top…

The glass will cause the diffusive material to bend a tiny bit (the glass and material are actually really close together, I just can’t draw) and the light hitting that portion of the material will be reflect, causing a “blob” of infrared light. Our camera will read this as a “touch”, and the computer (which will likely have a terabyte hard drive!) will recognize this as a mouse click.  The projector simply plays the role of a monitor and projects the current “screen” of the computer onto the glass. The cycle then repeats itself many times per second to track movement.

 

As for fiducials, you can think of these as fingerprints. They’re ink blots on plastic that the computer has been programmed to recognize and behave a certain way towards. For example:

These two fiducials are different, and will execute different programs. While the one on the left may play a certain song when laid on the screen, the one on the right may change the background of the screen. Each one is different, like a fingerprint.

 

Anyways, I think I covered everything. Until the next update!

 

 

 

Design

The design for the Multitouch Table is underway. Different designs are being considered and compared/contrasted at this point. We intend to have a working design by Friday May 11. Plausible designs will go to investors and consultants for further consideration before a final design is reached. At that point, the designs will be uploaded here for everyone to view. We will keep you updated!