Archive for the ‘Multi-touch Screen’ Category

The Sonic Window – Video

Here is the video from my installation at the Enterprise Centre in the Queen’s University SU. There’s already posts on this page with photos from the day explaining what the Sonic Window is, but basically its a multi-touch screen which was designed to allow you to explore Virtual Worlds like Second Life through sound.

credit to the voice of Fire Centaur who appears part way through this demo


Sonic Window Installation – May 21st 2008

Today was the big day!  Luckily everything functioned correctly despite the infrared light flooding in from outside.  I really hoped it would be cloudy and rainy today so that the sunlight wouldn’t be an issue but luckily everything worked fine still *phew*.  The installation was done in conjunction with my colleague Adam Scott Neal’s installation entitled ‘Recycled Wind’.  Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure 🙂

Sound Installation – Phase #3

I’m aware that these ‘phase’ names really don’t mean anything but I’ll use them anyway!  This is the current state of my ‘Sonic Window’.  So far it has 10-point multi-touch control and allows you to mix the sounds of 4 different sources with noise.  The idea is that you can’t really see what’s on the other side of the window, and by touching the window you can spread the noisy elements apart from the pitched sound elements and ‘hear’ the world on the other side of the window.


Sounds generated in Max/MSP/Jitter 5 and blob tracking is implemented using the cv.jit objects.  The noisy visualisation is done in a program i wrote using Processing.  The man you see very elegantly demo’ing the installation for you is Javier Jaimovich, he too is working on an installation using electronic circuits connected by the metal surfaces of the Sonic Lab.

Software – Reactivision

So, as a quick demo to see whether my set-up is suitable for ‘blob tracking’ I downloaded the open source Reactivision software from the people who make Reactables and apart from a huge white spot in the middle of the screen the system appears to work!! Fingers placed on screen seem to cause bounding rectangles to appear which is a good sign.  The next step is either to rebuild the software for my own sinister purposes…or to just use OSC to get the data into Processing.

It may be a little hard to understand what’s going on here.  The white spot in the middle is probably because my light isn’t diffused properly.  my fingertips are the four small blobs in the bottom left hand corner.


World’s most feeble window frame

I never claimed to be a builder, engineer, or good at designing and constructing anything physical.  I’m a musician!  We don’t make promises about things like this.

That said, I had no choice but to build my own frame because this multi-touch screen project needed a window metaphor because the project is called ‘The Sonic Window’.  Here’s an artist’s representation of what i mean.

A mock-up of what i\'m trying to achieve aurally

And here’s my, for lack of a lamer word, feeble attempt at building a window frame.

Note how my intricate design cleverly uses the table edge as a highly secure support.  Very intelligent I know.


Multi-touch Screen Phase 2

I’m not entirely sure why i keep referring to this part of the project as ‘phase #2’ but anyway it makes me feel better about where i am in the project and also slightly less panicked about the tiny little issue that it needs to be finished in…1 week!!

So anyway, most everything i learned is from running a fine toothed comb through Google and the forums at the NUI Group which is super helpful and an extremely friendly community of fellow touch-screen builders.  Essentially what i’m building is known as a DI (diffused illumination) table which means that you shine infrared light at a slab of Acrylic with a sheet of translucent material in front of it.  When a user places their fingers on the front surface their fingers reflect the IR light back stronger than the translucent paper does.  From this point you can implement your favourite variety of ‘blob tracking’ using a video camera and a computer.

It\'s vertical because i\'m using a window-esque metaphor for this project