Building a Multitouch table in 2015
Posted: 02 March 2015 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]
Rank
Joined  2015-03-02
Total Posts:  3
New Member

Hi there!

I have read a lot for your threads but most of them dates from pre-2010 so I was wondering if what is said here is still viable in 2015?

I plan to build a multi-touch table, probably Rear DI but I have some question regarding the hardware and the software and I would be glad if some experienced users can give me some feedback.
I want to do a table to put in my living room to play board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and some more exciting games maybe :D But stuff like this, multi-player real-life social games :D

Hardware
1. At first I was thinking of using a new Raspberry Pi with an official NoIR Camera. Do you think it is doable?
2. The PS3 Eye camera seems pretty old to me, is this still a recommended camera to do a touch-table?
3. I want to use fiducial tracking, is it better to use just a computer (preferably running OS X) and 2 PS3Eye or one is enough? As it will be a living room table, the height should be as small as possible (around 50 cm).
4. For the videoprojector, I currently own a BenQ W1070, which I can use as a dev platform but maybe I can use an ultra-short throw like a ViewSonic PJD8353s, what do you think about this option?
5. I also own a cheap 32” LCD TV, maybe I can use its LCD panel instead of buying a new video projector?

Sofware
6. What kind of software do I need to get the camera feed and read fingers and fiducials, that will possibly run on Raspberry PI (But I’m not stuck with this, I just thought maybe it could do it)
7. I’m used to develop thing for the web, either in HTML/jQuery/Angular/CSS, PHP or in ASP.NET / C#, but I can learn new stuff. What do you recommend me to create this kind of board games? I have done a lot of ActionScript in the olde days, ye know, not sure if it’s still relevant because a lot have changed on this side since 5 years.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 March 2015 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Rank
Joined  2012-04-26
Total Posts:  12
New Member

I would say that it definitely is still a viable option now. There are way more options in terms of multitouch software (Windows and Android come to mind) than there were and hardware is cheaper as well. I just got back to working on my own table that will eventually have a similar role that you were aiming for. It seems that unfortunately the more common availability of touch device in a smaller form factor made building large tables less novel, which may be way things are a bit slow around here. But I still think for a social situation, they can be used in really interesting ways.

Anyway, about your questions:
Hardware
1. The Raspberry Pi is probably useable in theory, but the software (CCV 1.5 or alternative) you need would probably slow it to a crawl… and thats assuming you can even compile it to run on an ARM processor. Performance is really key here so I wouldn’t go down this road. I would definitely look at running this on a desktop for optimal performance or a laptop/compact pc to save on space.

2. The PS3 Eyes are still pretty handy. For the price and performance, its hard to beat them still. That said, webcams probably have gotten better in the last few years, but these are pretty solid. The eyes and the parts you need to mod them can all be found pretty cheaply online. My online complaint here is some driver problems that haven’t been resolved since Windows 8.1 came out. You mentioned OSX so you might not have any problems, but I cant really confirm that one.

3. Fiducials. My table is about the same height, which is really pretty low. I had 2 PS3 eyes with really wide lenses on them(2.1mm) and had some problems due to heavy image distortion. I ended up adding 2 more so that I could use lenses with less distortion. In short, you will need at least 2, maybe 4, but definitely not 1.

4&5: I haven’t ever used a projector so I can’t help here. I’m using a fairly cheap LCD and its turned out pretty well. If you decided to go down the LCD route, there are some things you need to be aware of. Fiducials are really hard to get working. This is because of the diffuse material being so far for the touch plane which blurs them out. You could reduce the diffuse layer, but then you will see through the screen to the inside of the table. Also, Rear DI will not work with nearly all LCD panels because they reflect the IR back down. Look up LCD DSI if you choose to use the TV.

Software
6. The software really depends on your platform. You will need a Tracker, a driver to convert the tracked points to the platforms native touch points and then actual software to interact with. Community Core Vision (CCV) is the most common tracker software that you will see around here. Reactivision is another popular choice. Neither will run on a Raspberry Pi unless you do some serious leg work and the performance is guaranteed to be less than amazing. The trackers are pretty intensive. Personally, I’m using Windows 8.1 here because it allowed me to build an affordable and modular PC that I could build into the table and also have access to all of the touch enabled apps that are in the store.

7. Anything can really be used to create your apps. The Trackers communicate using TUIO, which the drivers convert to touch or mouse points. You can skip that entirely and just use the TUIO output to interact with your app. A lot of people did and still do this and I think it might be necessary if you are going to use fiducials. I remember that many apps were written in actionscript so you might be able to dig up plenty of examples I sure.

I hope this helps somewhat. I haven’t really played around with OSX so your experience might be different on the software front, but hardware should be similar. I learned a lot by trial and error and redoing work over the last couple years but its also been pretty fun and I’m still pretty excited for it to be done and in use. Good Luck!!

 Signature 

My Adventures Building an LCD DSI Table

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 March 2015 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Rank
Joined  2015-03-02
Total Posts:  3
New Member

First of all, thank you very much for taking some time to answer me. It’s much appreciated.
I’ve read some post about two versions of PS3Eye and the one most common now that you cannot hack easily so be honest it as scared me a bit. Running Reactivision on the Raspberry Pi seems problematic though, still looking, but the new model got a lot more processing power and memory. Also the camera is a bit better than the Eye and there is a No IR version available and everything is cheap so I went ahead and bought a new PI and the NoIR Camera, and I found some red, green, blue and yellow gel sheets for 3 €, apparently you can block visible light by combining the first 3 colors, and still let through IR.

I did not received the PI yet, I have to wait around 2 weeks so I’ll check the IR possibilities later.

If it’s running too slow I will probably use a MacBook Pro from 2008 that I’m not using much anymore and if it’s still too slow I’ll build a small PC. For now it is not costing too much so I can try, it’s nice. I’ll keep you informed; I can still use the PI for something else so it’s probably not a lost investment. Maybe I can try to compile TUIO or reacTIVision on an emulator before to train myself.

To develop games I have found a framework but it looks a bit complex for now. Unity3D looks fantastic but runs only on Mac or Windows so, another thing against the Raspberry.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 March 2015 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRank
Joined  2010-11-08
Total Posts:  135
Member

Hi,
thanks for starting a discussion on 2015 technology! I’m interested in your findings, because I need to modernize my 2011 couch table… (http://blog.mosthege.net/tag/multitouch/)

Hardware
* short-throw projectors with anything better than shitty 1024x768 resolution are still incredibly expensive
* never use regular projectors for couch tables - I did and had to use three mirrors…
* cheap TV screens are probably the best option if you care for a good resolution (after all your viewing distance is minimal!)

Software
I think you should forget about the Raspberry. You want to use more than one camera, so first you’re running out of USB ports.. Then your CPU needs to handle:
* two cameras
* blob tracking
* fiducial tracking
* apps
Even if you can compile Reactivision for the Raspi, you could still send the TUIO to another computer, but why all the troubles? With a mainboard, a SSD and a decent Dual Core CPU you can run the touch-friendly Windows 8.1/10 and use CCV 1.5 or Reactivision as it is.

To route TUIO to the OS, you can use TouchInjector (http://touchinjector.codeplex.com/) or TouchProxy (used to be on codeplex, but the site is down - any clues?).
With your ASP.NET experience, you will find it easy to develop your own WPF or Windows Store apps for custom fiducial-driven applications.

So try to innovate on the hardware! With online-laser cutting and 3D printing on demand, it should be a lot easier to build a cool table! IR LEDs, lasers and filter are also a lot more available than in 2011…

 Signature 

Twitter Blog

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 March 2015 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Rank
Joined  2015-03-02
Total Posts:  3
New Member

Actually my problem is more the PS3Eye. For the Raspberry you have a dedicated IR Camera that has good resolution and PS one is old and you have this problems with the new one were you cannot remove the IR filter so it scares me a bit actually. And the Raspberry has 4 USB ports now, a quad core processor and 1 GB of memory so I thought, maybe It can do it.

Do you have any recommendation for another camera that will work on Windows/Mac?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 March 2015 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Avatar
RankRank
Joined  2010-11-08
Total Posts:  135
Member

But if you are using at least 2 cams anyways, your problem is not the resolution, because they combine anyways. I don’t know if CCV is multicore yet, but usually anything less performant than a Intel Core i3/5 with at least 2x2.2 GHz becomes a bottleneck.

(we can head over to the chat box on the front page if you like)

 Signature 

Twitter Blog

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 March 2015 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Rank
Joined  2012-04-26
Total Posts:  12
New Member

The PS Eye cams are getting old, but they are still pretty effective for the cost and have been recommended as cheap alternatives to more expensive options like anything Point Grey. You can set the FPS a lot higher than many other cameras and maintain a decent resolution at the same time. I wouldn’t worry about the IR lens problem with them. The problem only exists if you plan on keeping the original lenses, which you probably should not. You can replace them with new M12 mounts and lenses for them for very little and then use a standard size IR filter. This also allows you to choose a lenses that maximizes the field of view of the camera instead of being stuck with the default 2 levels of the original lenses. My table has 4 PS3 eyes running that have been modified with brand new mounts and lenses with very little distortion.

That said, if anyone has any recommendations for newer decent and reasonably priced cameras, I’m certainly interested in learning about them.

I’m still interested in hearing how your efforts with the Raspberry Pi camera goes, especially with the upgraded Pi. I would still be concerned that it would not be fast enough even with the improved processor, but its certainly worth a try. Also, are you able to use more than one of the Pi cameras with the board? I didn’t think those cameras used a usb port and if you need more than one, you’d be in trouble.

 Signature 

My Adventures Building an LCD DSI Table

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 March 2016 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Rank
Joined  2016-03-03
Total Posts:  4
New Member

Thanks for starting discussion in 2015.i badly want ur help for some of my questions on software part.
Firstly, i am using a lenovo laptop with win 8 platform..
I have installed ccv1.5 in my laptop but the problem is, it is not detecting my ps3 camera which is connected through usb port even after disabling inbuilt webcamera. I am using a single ps3 camera in my project.
Ccv1.5 works fine with inbuilt webcam but when inbuilt camera is disabled nd ps3 is connected through usb.. Ccv opens with the window showing camera not found.
Please do help me to sort out this problem.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 March 2016 03:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRank
Joined  2010-11-08
Total Posts:  135
Member

The last time I did this, you needed the CL-Eye driver: https://codelaboratories.com/downloads

Also I recommend that you move on to Windows 10.

 Signature 

Twitter Blog

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2016 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Rank
Joined  2016-07-13
Total Posts:  1
New Member

Hi everyone! I started implementing the whole table but I incurred in a problem and I was wondering if you could help me out. After setting it up, I was trying the table out with the TUIO software but I was utilizing a PS3 eye NOT modified yet (I have the ‘bad version.’ and am currently waiting for the other one to be delivered, so that I can safely remove the IR Block). With the CCV Community Core Vision open, however, on the left camera panel, the camera showed the screen projected on the plexi glass - while on tutorial videos, the left panel is fairly dark until fingers touch it, without showing the projection of the projector on the glass. Is this due to the camera not modified? Also, on the right panel, my setup showed some white lines all over the screen due to the camera seeing the screen projected to the glass instead of all black until fingers. Is this a consequence of the same un-modified camera? In fewer words, is a working camera not supposed to ‘read’ what’s projected on plexi-glass? Thank you so much!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2016 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Avatar
RankRank
Joined  2010-11-08
Total Posts:  135
Member

an unmodified PS3Eye is basically a Webcam, so that’s what CCV gets as input.

It would help if you could post a screenshot.

 Signature 

Twitter Blog

Profile