Spherical Multitouch Rig

We all love a little bit of multitouch, but we’ve seen so many setups that it is getting a bit less exciting. This one will get your attention with its unique shape. It is a spherical multitouch using all open source software. Well, since the poles are unusable, it might just be toroidal, or cylindrical, but it is still impressive. They are using a convex mirror mounted to the upper most point of the frosted sphere to reflect a projector mounted at the bottom of the base. A web cam pointed at that same mirror picks up reflected IR light from a few emitters. You can catch a video of it after the break.


[via boingboing]

9 thoughts on “Spherical Multitouch Rig

  1. Now all they need to do is find a way of getting rid of the lag. Can’t imagine that it’ll be easy seeing as the technique they’re using must involve some crazy image processing…

  2. I would love this so much more if the sphere actually rotated freely. They could read hand position from the camera for click, vertical pan, and zoom behavoir, but use a rotary encoder for horizontal pan. It might look smoother by taking the image processing out of that one interaction. It’s still extremely cool as is though. I can’t wait to see this in a museum.

  3. I have yet to see anyone use multitouch for anything other than demos of people moving images around while zooming and shrinking them. In all the years I have used computers and image processing programs, I have never once had a need to move pictures around on a screen while shrinking and zooming. I have used Photoshop and other programs for image manipulation, but it never involved pretending I was in Minority Report. How about we all just agree that multitouch, while great for demos, is pretty much useless.

    Remember when “virtual reality” was the hot thing? Everyone ran around wearing head mounted displays and wired gloves while looking like Ray Charles trying to find the toilet in a new hotel room. Yeah, that really took off.

    Multitouch is VR 2.0 – Nifty to look at but pointless.

  4. @Alfred
    Actually, when used on large high res touch screens, multitouch imaging interfaces are VERY useful for picking targets and applications where humans need to snoop on static imagery.

    You know, unless you have an operator console with a joystick and a space mouse. :)

    Just fyi, VR is just in a dormant phase. I have a client using it for a training application, and I’m pretty certain that what they’re doing will eventually become mainstream. I thought it was pretty stupid until I tried it.

    Think of the “Hey, I know kung fu!” scene in the matrix, and replace the hero with an office worker doing something far less glamourous. They think it substantially cuts training time, but knowing if that’s true or not is basically outside my realm. But VR isn’t dead yet.

    Other than that, I agree. The entire UI for the ipad could be replaced with… well, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat, as they say.

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