Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My bubbles!

The past few days have been spent waiting for my silicone rubber compound to arrive in the mail. It came yesterday and so I promptly mixed everything together and poured an approx 1mm layer on top of my acrylic sheet.

Although the surface came out very smooth there are tons of small bubbles within the mixture. The number of bubbles lowers the translucency of the surface and introduces a great deal of noise into the captured image. I'm glad I gave this a try myself as it was a great learning experience... but now I think I'm going to order a sheet from someone who has real experience at making them (Gravano @ NUIGROUP).

So, I'm back to waiting.

Friday, June 8, 2007


I realized I showed a screenshot of my software but didn't bother to show the actual prototype. Here it is, in all it's DIY glory...

Here we go!

Well I'm starting this new blog today. I figured it would be nice to keep track of my current / future projects. A few days ago Microsoft announced their new Surface computing platform. It's basically a coffee table with a multitouch screen on top. The moment I saw it I knew I had to make one... so this brings me to my new project.

I want to build a multitouch table for use in the classroom. I think this kind of technology could really break down the one student per computer barrier we see in classrooms today. A multitouch table would allow students to use technology cooperatively in a way that, currently, is an impossibility for most students. The best part is that the technology the table is based on, Frustrated Total Internal Reflection (FTIR), is fairly cheap to produce and relies mostly on common PC components and other readily available materials. Take a look at this page to get the gist of it.

With the help of the NUIGROUP community, I found enough information to construct a rough prototype screen. So far it does simple blob tracking when I press my fingers on the screen. In a few days the materials for my complaint surface should arrive and I can begin the next phase of my research.