QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch Portfolio viewer

vince's picture


I was wondering if anyone has come across software that can be used during meetings to make an impactful presentation for viewing various media types. A design company wants to be able to showcase the designer's latest work to the client during a meeting. They currently use things like cooliris 3d wall to display their work and make an impactful presentation to the client.

They have asked me to research new ways of doing this. One way would be to do a multitouch table where you could point the app to a folder full of JPG, PDF, M4V, or url links. It would display all of these items on a multitouch interactive table and you could use all of the usual gestures to move the objects around or zoom in on a pdf to read the text up close. You could possibly even use an embeded webkit window to open webpages and show additional content.

I've looked around at Microsoft Surface, some Windows 7 multitouch, and even open projects like Touchkit which let you write your own software in xcode. I still think this would be easiest to do in Quartz Composer because you can natively display all of those filetypes pretty easily. I've seen patches on these forums to do the multitouch.

Multitouch is not really new anymore, and the tools to do it have been around for a while now. So, does software like this already exist? Does it make sense that Quartz could be the easiest way to pull this off?

Does anyone have links to other interesting ways of displaying and navigating various types media on a large screen?

The main goal is to avoid having to alt-tab in and out of screens while giving the demonstrations, just one clean solid interface to view any type of media file.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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cwright's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

disregarding most of the comment (sorry), but cooliris is actually staffed by Pierre Olivier-Latour (QC original author) and Kevin Quennesson (worked on late QC3, and early QC4) -- it's not too surprising that they've taken the QC idea, and done something like this with it :)

QC still really struggles with video (due to QT lameness) -- otherwise, I don't think I've seen too many new or novel ways to handle lots of content... :/

dust's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

qc is my ideal multi-touch platform. its great for rapid prototyping of ideas without having to spend copious amounts of time writing code to make the same thing in another package. until possibly tomorrow "iSlate" there isn't really any solution for multi-touch on mac other building your own table and even then there isn't much system wide support. window7 on the other hand has been able to build in multi-touch support and with the help of http://multitouchvista.codeplex.com/ you can emulate a touch certified machine with a virtual HID which works very well. I have been successful using flicks and typing via multi-touch on windows7. now calibrating a community core vision to be able to type requires a bit of patience as i calibrated a 10 x 10 grid and was able to type without any problems. with a smaller grid lets say if you what you think is the top of the s it triggers the w key etc.. but if you are familiar with single touch systems calibration is nothing new and essential.

with that said there is little relevance to QC seeing that window7 doesn't use QC. thats all good though because with a presentation system you don't need to be mucking about the system and typing things etc... so in my humble opinion I think that a QC solution will be far faster than your other choices, like open frame works and even faster than flash unless your using a pre built flash template. so i suggest to look into nuigroup for info on building your own table. there are solutions from a web cam in trash can to large complex ftir/di combo's i personally built a table for 100 bucks. lets say 40 bucks for a ps3 eye, 20 bucks for an IR bandpass filter for the ps3 eye and 40 bucks in lasers. now that is supposing you have a monitor or projector all ready.

now all i did was take apart an HD LCD monitor very carefully, when you see a danger high voltage sign believe it and don't dismiss it like you did with the "if you open this tv you void the warranty " sticker. then i took a storm window from my basement laid out the lcd flat. its surprising how small everything is once its out of the shell. so next i sandwiched the lcd with another piece of glass on top of the lcd so as to not be poking the lcd. a smaller piece of glass not as big as the window as i needed some space for the cables plugs an power supply to lay down. so then i placed the window ontop of table with the monitor hanging off the end. this is so i can sit down and have my legs under the screen. then i taped one of the lcd illumination diffuser sheets under the monitor and hung a piece of mylar down from the edge of the table. behind the mylar i placed a few light fixtures, florescent bright white i think. some thing like 3500 lumens 2 of them. now these hit the mylar and get diffused but provide enough light to illuminate the lcd.

then i place the modified ps3 eye cam under the table. the ps3 eye is sweet. with the latest repository of macam it pushes 180 fps @ 320 x 480 if your wondering why ps3 eye. so with all that set i then placed 4 lasers in the corners of the screen with 120 degree light plane generators, then wired up the circuit to the ac outlet or power strip. well before i plugged in the lasers i focused the laser then added the light plane generator and focused that as well, obviously looking at my monitor with the cam one because IR is hard to see. now im using near IR 780nm so its nice to know that you can see a little red light. buy some goggles if your using true IR because you have to look at the lasers and well they will burn your eyes out without you knowing it so i suggest that although i risked blindness for my multi-touch table i don't condone messing with lasers without them.

now i have built various systems DI, FTIR, and LLP. LLP by far gives me the best blobs, plus you can tape the laser to your fingers and multi-touch without the touch part. i have lets say built more than a few tables, and i enjoy programming the demos more than making the table. i mean maybe the first one is exciting but then 4 me its about making interesting applications to use on them and not constructing a table. i mean at home i just threw together stuff laying around but for labs i put together some nice aluminum frame type of things together for aesthetic appeal but frigging with an alan wrench all day, trying to square off a 50 inch sheet of projection surface by yourself is a bit difficult. three times today i wired up a circuit made sure every thing worked then started assembling just to find out something is cramming my wires and breaking the circuit. so until you built one or two i suggest just using alligator clips and tape.

now if that all sounds to complicated for you to do then you can buy ready made systems in the 5k range that can retro fit any monitor, or buy stackable units etc.. there is one company that looks interesting its called next window and it retro fits a hp touch smart and makes the touch smart two touch into multi-touch. now i'm thinking with a multi-touch vista HID driver and the tuio next window driver you can turn any windows7 box into a multi-touch system. even acer is selling a multi-touch monitor for like 300 hundred. now seeing that tuio is pretty much the compliant multi-touch protocol for most systems and tuio is inherently osc you could get one of the window7 systems and send the tuio data to a mac for visualizations.

as far as examples of QC multi-touch stuff there are files here on kineme but the developer examples will show you most of the things you will you need to know. in nut shell you get the tuio plugin connect the cursor structure to a a structure count connect the structure count to an iterator count. then inside the iterator you connect the iterator variables. so a structure index and parse the xy out by a structure key and connect the xy to a circle or something. what this does is provides you visualization of your touches, as many of them as you have touches all in one shot.

i do have a gesture recognition patch in the repository that you can look at. but basically you just drag an drop your media to the editor window, pics, videos pdf's models etc.. with the help of kineme most of what you will want or need can be accomplished in QC. personally i have been doing some multi-touch stuff in unity 3d but i find QC way easier as i don't have to write code for everything.

not sure if this helps you decide or not but. i'm more than happy to give some advice if you actually have a system you can use.

itsthejayj's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

Vince we have a in house touch screen QC application what does exactly this. Initially built to allow dynamic presentations that our business team can easily make for clients. It incorporates all media types and makes use of in house qc compositions.

In fact instead of writing a long winded splur i'll see if i can knock up a quick video demonstration.

dust's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

i just finished another table. using 60mw lasers @ 780nm. man those puppies crank. you get brilliant blobs. i will see about making a video or taking some shots of my test table. maybe to show you the difference between an ftir strip / di and llp. unfortunately i lost most my multi-touch examples this christmas but am starting to put together some presentation systems with quartz. i use quartz and unity 3d right now for multi-touch. as far as the unityTUIO is concerned im not sure i can share any of that code until its released. will check the site as its been some time since i have ventured to xtuio or to nuigroup.

itsthejayj's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

Video as promised http://bit.ly/aTt989

leegrosbauer's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

Very nice!

dust's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

thats pretty slick. very good use of transitions and what not. i like how it looks like an iphone. thats how i describe my multi-touch table. i just say imagine a giant iphone. it goes to show you that an iphone os type of multi-touch interaction would work well in the system wide context. hopefully really soon there may be a future for a multi-touch imac ? i know you can retro fit one now but man that screen on the imac is so brilliant bright clear it begs to be touched. i set up some lasers on my mac book pro screen and messed around with touching it. works ok if your lap-top is laying on its screen but given the clam shells normal placement its hard to get no occlusions unless you lay the screen down on a table.

when i get to the lab i'll snap of few picks of the systems i'm building. who knows it might inspire new enthusiasts. it seems there is a few hundred thousand DIY multi-touch table people out there now plus all the iphone peps. i think right now its still a hobby and marketing type of people doing this sort of presentation systems. all it will take is apple to release some sort of capacitance touch monitor and its all over. no more messing around with lasers and what not.

dust's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

here are some of the touch systems i'm working with

Jimmy Whales's picture
Re: QC as Meeting Presentation System - Multitouch ...

Have you checked with a vendor yet? If you call a couple of projector rentals stores, I bet they could give you the most up to date info. It might save you some time.