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Mac anyone? New multitouch tracker on it’s way!

Well, I haven’t posted in a while, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped development. Actually, I’ve done the opposite and have been developing with a release date coming soon (hopefully).

I applied for GSoC a couple months ago and my project was chosen and I am have been a student under Natural User Interface Group (NUIGroup) ever since. For my project, I’ve been working on a multitouch framework/lux.

For the last few weeks (with the help of my mentor Christian Moore) I’ve been working on porting over touchlib (the main tracker of the NUIGroup community) to openframeworks. A few reasons we chose to use openframeworks is because it’s (1) Cross-platform (it’ll work on windows/mac/linux), (2) It’s easy to add and develop on (minimal coding experience required).

If you didn’t catch that, this means we will have a new, full functional tracker that works on Mac! Many have been waiting for this! =)

So, here’s the summary. The new tracker has the following features:

  • Filters (dynamic background subtraction, highpass, amplify/scaler, threshold) – This means it’ll work with all optical setups (FTIR, DI, LLP, DSI). More filters can be added later (for optimization), but the current filters work for all setups. Also, you no longer need an ‘invert filter.’ Whether you’re working with dark blobs or light blobs, the tracker will work the same!
  • Camera switcher – Have more than one camera on your computer? Now you can press a button and switch to the next camera on your computer without having to exit the application.
  • Input switcher – Want to use test videos instead of a live camera? Go ahead, press a button and it’ll switch to video input.
  • Input flipper – Now you can flip the camera vertical or horizontal if it’s the wrong way.
  • Dynamic mesh calibration – For people with small or large tables, now you can add calibration points (for large displays) or create less points (smaller displays).
  • Warp – Used for getting a rough calibration. By moving 4 points on the source image, you can warp the image to the projection area which will quickly calibrate your setup. This is pretty CPU heavy though, but may work well for people without projection (MTmini) and need to calibrate some.
  • TUIO Send – Although their will be a non GUI mode/version of the application which will have greater speed, you can send OSC TUIO messages directly from the configapp for quick testing (no need to exit and load a seperate file).
  • Camera and application FPS viewer – Now you can see the framerate of both the tracker and camera that you’re getting.
  • Demo view – Why should you have to exit the config tracker to try a quick demo? Now you can test a simple demo and make sure calibration is how you want it.
  • New GUI – The new interface is hopefully more intuitive and easier to understand/use than in the past.
  • Cross-platform – This will work on windows, mac, and linux! Whoo!

Screenshot of new tracker (still in development)

I can’t give out all the deailts, but many more features (fiducial tracking 😉 ) are being discussed for further development. Stay tuned for the release and arrival of LUX which will make this whole process of developing multitouch applications a lot more organized! =)

So the questions is…when will this be released? Unfortunately, I don’t give release dates since I don’t like disappointing people if it doesn’t meet the deadline. Fortunately, I can say that we’re not far from making this available relatively soon (i’ll let you guess what that means).

Feel free to comment with your thoughts, hopes, and dreams…. =)

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