Monday, July 30, 2007

Progress :)

It's good to be finally making some progress. I've continued working on my multitouch project. In the past week or so I've been very focused on getting my new camera to work. I made a neat assembly that combined my new webcam lens and my IR bandpass filter from Thorlabs. The cool part is that I made it out of a bottle cap :)

Also, on the software side of things, I just got the blob tracking working. Nothing cool to show yet as it still needs to be refined, but this was a major hurdle on the way to programming some real multitouch apps. More stuff to come in the near future...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Smoke and Mirrors

Well I got my projector today! I took over the spare bedroom in the house and setup a makeshift table to test things out. I wanted to check for a few things...

a) how difficult would it be to get the projector image straight when going from horizontal to vertical via the mirror reflection

b) how much infrared light the projector gave off

c) if the projector would look washed out with some regular lights on

Here's what I found out. It was pretty easy to get the projector to show up on my screen. I was even more surprised with how well vellum worked as a projection surface. When I turned on my IR webcam to check the projector it picked up virtually no IR light. It gets even better though, because even with with all the lights on in the room the projection was still crisp and the contrast looked great. All in all... I'm feeling pretty good about the project. Check out some pics!

Friday, July 6, 2007

More waiting

Well after my last post I wanted to try illuminating my surface from behind with a few IR LEDs. I found that with everything I tried, the LEDs just put way too much focused light on the surface. After talking with cerupcat on the nuigroup forums, he mentioned the use of the GamFusion material from as a diffuser of the IR light. The stuff is pretty cheap so I ordered some along with some more LEDs.

On a more exciting note, I came into some unexpected funding for my project. I can finally afford to buy a projector :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Change of Direction

Well a few days ago I recieved my silicone-rubber sheet from Gravano of After getting it setup on my table and doing some more work on my software I was able to get pretty good finger tracking. The problems came the next day, when my software went crazy because of a little bit of ambient daylight in the room. Since I want to use this technology someday in the classroom, this presents a roadblock.

So, I've now decided to shift my focus from FTIR (sides of acrylic lit with IR LEDs) to diffused illumination (front or rear lit with IR LEDs). So far the results are promising. I've uploaded a video of me testing out the surface.

I think this is definately the way to go. Just looking at the video, it's clear to see I get fairly accurate results using only ambient light. With a rear lit setup, I'm sure I can make this work even better. That's it for today.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Nation... I got you a giftcard.