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Emergence and Navigating...
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Los Angeles, US
Immortal since Jan 8, 2008
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    Emergence and Navigating...
    Develop a generative, emergent process to fill space (2D or 3D) using only black lines. Modify a known process or invent your own. Implement your...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From b10's personal cargo

    Multi-Touch Table Display: Phase 5 Photolog
    Project: Emergence and Navigating Space
    Here is a photo log (for some videos of our project, check here) of the ongoing project that was born a couple months ago deep in the concrete passageways of Broad Art Center. etaymor and I have been forging a delightful piece of technology that we would like to share with you wonderful folks. I'll do my best to explain as the pics progress. You can find more general info and some good links here.
    2/15/2008 - We got the party started.
    We bought the first round of supplies. Various odds and ends that we knew we couldn't do without.
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    Our first set of rails that were to house our infra-red LEDs. These did not work in the end, thanks to the grooves already cut into them, which made our drill bit slide around when we tried to make new holes. If you don't know the basics of a FTIR multi-touch display, there is a great instructables on the hardware here.
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    An LED.
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    Los LEDs.
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    Drill pressin.
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    Filed off sharp edges.
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    We placed those LEDs in their hole and soldered them together (8 in each circuit)
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    This piece of junk is a Logitech webcam that we picked up to turn into our infra-red camera. It required a little modding.
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    The Logitech lens.
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    The exposed film negative we cut to fit the back of the lens, to act as a IR filter.
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    Our taped rails plugged into a standard 4-pin molex for the first round of LED testing.
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    We had to polish the edges of our acrylic for transparency
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    That shining light in the computer window is the IR LED rail setup, working.
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    Hmmm...
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    A normal computer power supply, I think about 250W, when hotwire, powered our whole LED setup (We had 60-something LEDs I think)
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    The rails on the bare acrylic, with the webcam underneath reading our touches..early testing.
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    The box design we decided on. Simple is best, we thought, and following that thought made a nice box with 3 sides and a little inset for the frame that will contain the acrylic and other surfaces (a surface to project onto, to touch, and to interface with the IR-filled acrylic)
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    Corner detail.
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    The lower frame will sandwich the acrylic and surfaces between an upper frame that the user will see.
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    Because our table is about belly-height, it is tough to project straight onto it from below. So we decided to use a mirror to bounce and enlarge the projection. This introduced the problem of a slightly ghosted image, so we tried to solve this by creating a First Surface mirror. Lets just say this was a great idea, but in the end a failure and waste of time. This is something we should keep trying to do though, as it is worth the improvement in image quality for the nit-picky.
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    Lookin good, stained wood.
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    Our projector/mirror/power set up.
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    The set-up.
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    Experimenting with all of the different surfaces for touching, projecting, and reading the IR was the most time consuming and involved part of the project. No one has the end-all solution yet, although people online have innovated with some interesting materials, sometimes with great success. We ended up pouring 1mm thin silicone layer over our acrylic, and laying our projection surface over that.
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    Our first silicone pouring attempt. We tried to use wood strips along to acrylic as guides to smoothing out a very thin layer of silicone over the acrylic...
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    We tried to keep working the surface after the silicone started to gel, however, which killed any chance we had at getting the silicone smooth.
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    This is the set-up for the second-attempt, which was a success.
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    Putting tiny dots of Krazy Glue on the long edges of the acrylic...
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    1mm tall brass strips to use as guides for smoothing the silicone. They worked like a charm.
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    Ok so I skipped a few steps..check out the video documentation of this project for some more tests. Here we are with the table put together (complete with silicon surface) and testing.
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    Testiiing...
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    Testaang...
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    Mucking around with the software. This is about where we are as of this posting, trying out actionscript3 using OSC and some demo material. All of this stuff is rather involved and hacky, but the community is wonderful and enthusiastic and I'm sure that documentation and examples will be created and refined more frequently as more people build these types of things.
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    Le Table all put together.
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    Some more Table (along with a toilet paper roll and some other stuff, ok so I kind of snapped these without thinking too much)
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    Here on the underside of the acrylic you can see the slight ripples in the silicone layer on top. You cant really feel these, and they don't affect the project, so I guess they are OK.
    Well, those are the pics for now.

    Fri, Mar 21, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: code, multi-touch
    Sent to project: Emergence and Navigating Space
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    Comments:


    kyle     Tue, Mar 25, 2008  Permanent link
    Its ridiculously impressive that you guys were able to build this crazy thing, excellent work.
    joonas     Tue, Apr 1, 2008  Permanent link
    Science is awesome. : D
     
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