Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting started

Though I have done few experiments and hands on before with multitouch development kit provided by NUI I want to document all my efforts that will now go for further research in this domain.

Conceptually you can break down this project into two different tasks/domains.
1. Hardware
2. Software

I can either go on exploring different hardware options suitable and optimized to work for my experiments or I can explore on the software end and design and develop meaningful applications.
Since hardware part can be taken care by anybody I would like to dive deep in the software realm and discover the wonderful world of multitouch applications.

The forums at NUI groups are really resourceful and full of on the fly help posts. However for my reference I have taken down following links to quickly get started with the experiments.

First things first
NUI group has developed Touch Library. It can be found at its Beta site here. This site has chunked all the necessary information in well defined categories for any novice to get started.

I will be developing my applications in Flash. Hence Flash will be detecting the camera movements and passing the data to TUIO library through FLOSC (a gateway to take co-ordinates from Flash application and convert and send it to TUIO code for further processing).
The tools used are Adobe Flash CS3 and AS 3.0 (ActionScript language).

For those who don't want to buy Flash license and want to go for an open source option "Flash Develop" is an alternative. A nice tutorial on getting started with Flash Develop and AS 3 can be found here >>. Hence I will simultaneously be learning Flash Develop too. It's very much developer friendly and designers may find it alien.

So once you are done choosing your application development platform (Flash for me) this is the link to follow >>. This tutorial is a step by step guide to developing and deploying your code to start multitouch application.

In a nutshell I followed following steps to gain the momentum
1. Buy a webcamera. A low end can work for initial experiments. Your webcamera will work as it is for FTIR technology of multitouch sensing. You may want to look for other techniques at >> which lists down all multitouch techniques in detail.
2. Install Adobe Flash CS3 or Flash Develop. For the working with Flash develop follow this >> tutorial.
3. Get hands on developing "Hello World" application in Flash with this tutorial >>

Starter Kit from NUI group can be found here >>
And now you are ready to go.