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MTbiggie - How to Make a Low-Cost Multitouch Table
Posted: 10 April 2011 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
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How to Make a Low-Cost Multitouch Table - Multitouch Biggie (MTbiggie) - A simple low-cost multitouch table
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With the success of the MTmini and after many requests to do another video. The MTmini now has a bigger brother, the MTbiggie.

What’s a Multitouch Biggie (MTbiggie)?

A Multitouch Biggie, MTbiggie for short, is a low-cost multitouch table. It can be used for a variety of purposes including: drawing, OS navigation, games, entertainment and more. While it is not the most stable technique, it’s the simplest to build and is a good introduction for beginners or those wanting to test whether they want to build something more complex.

I created the Multitouch Biggie to show people how something that seems complicated or ‘magical’ can be made simply and at low cost.

Parts List

- 2 chairs (or anything to prop up the acrylic)
- Piece of clear, flat sturdy material (ie. glass, acrylic, plexiglas)
- Projection material (ie. printer paper, tracing paper, rosco projection material, etc)
- Infrared webcam/camera
- Computer (dual core recommended, but not needed)
- Projector
- Mirror

Total Cost: $500 (using low end or used projector ) - $1000+ (using high end projector) - not counting the computer

How’s it Work and What Conditions are Necessary?

When you place your fingers on the surface, shadows are created where your fingers are placed. The webcam sees these shadows and sends the image to the tracking software which tracks the shadows as they move on the touch surface (paper). Below is a video demonstrating the view of what the camera is seeing and tracking.

All you need is a room with (at least) some infrared light (most lights give off infrared light); a dark room will not work. Even room lighting gives the best results. Lights shinning from multiple directions onto the table gives better results than lights from one direction.

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<center>For more information visit: http://sethsandler.com/multitouch/mtbiggie</center>

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<center>Thanks to everyone for their support and sharing the MTmini</center>

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Posted: 10 April 2011 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Nice work , but which projector are you using that comes below $400 ?

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Posted: 10 April 2011 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m using a casio xj-s30 projector (I think I paid $500), but the price isn’t my specific costs, but generally what the cheapest could be. You can find projectors for sub $300 on ebay, Craigslist, etc.

I adjusted the total cost and added some comments wink

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Posted: 10 April 2011 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Woah how did you get angry birds on it? Does it support Multitouch - mainly zoom in/out?

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Posted: 10 April 2011 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There’s a desktop version of Angry Birds http://www.appup.com/applications/applications-Angry+Birds

It’s not multitouch since it’s just a regular desktop application. In the video, I’m using the mouse driver to play it. :D

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Posted: 10 April 2011 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Nice setup Seth.  Is that the old Touchlib mouse driver?

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Posted: 10 April 2011 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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No it’s the one here: http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/3447/ but any mouse driver will work since all you need is the ability to click and drag which I believe they all provide.

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Posted: 11 April 2011 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Seth (cerupcat) - 10 April 2011 07:11 PM

There’s a desktop version of Angry Birds http://www.appup.com/applications/applications-Angry+Birds

It’s not multitouch since it’s just a regular desktop application. In the video, I’m using the mouse driver to play it. :D

if you use it under win7 with the hid multitouch driver it is multitouch (zoom in and out)

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Posted: 11 April 2011 02:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Great to know. smile

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Posted: 11 April 2011 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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nice work smile

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Posted: 11 April 2011 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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great contribution! btw: i just bought angry birds and it is multitouch if you use w7 and HID driver wink

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My DSI Project:

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Proj.Surface: 7D006 on top
2x PS3 Camera from Peau with 850BF & 3.6mm lense
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Posted: 11 April 2011 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Seth: very very nice video smile

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Posted: 12 April 2011 04:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Great video and instructions guys, thanks for sharing!

I was thinking maybe for a bit more semi-permanent replacement for the <s>box</s> chairs you could get a huge cardboard box, you can get some pretty large ones for around $10-25 (http://www.uline.com/BL_412/Bulk-Cargo-Containers) would be funny to see a cardboard box table smile

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Posted: 12 April 2011 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Going to have this up and running by the weekend!!  Thanks for the info… just waiting on the camera to arrive.

#1 are you using a first surface mirror?  (just curious how big a deal that is, will have to order one)

#2 I’m assuming you just have the “paper” (projection surface) taped to the acrylic?

#3 does this setup allow to have two layers of acrylic?  (So I can sandwich the proj layer between two sheets so that the paper will stay clean and last longer)

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Posted: 12 April 2011 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks everyone!

@mgithens:

1) I’m not using a first surface, but there’s a slight doubling - it may not be enough to bother some people. On my ‘real’ table, I’m using a first surface though (not the one in the video).
2) Yes, taped on. smile
3) Yes, two layers is fine. However, the top layer should be as thin as possible. You want your fingers as close to the diffuser (paper) as possible. So, if the top acrylic is too thick it’ll be harder to get good shadows.

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Posted: 12 April 2011 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Seth (cerupcat) - 12 April 2011 02:29 PM

3) Yes, two layers is fine. However, the top layer should be as thin as possible. You want your fingers as close to the diffuser (paper) as possible. So, if the top acrylic is too thick it’ll be harder to get good shadows.

maybe just a layer of something from the art store??  something like overhead projector film… (not sure what else to call that stuff)

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