The NUI community consists of artists, engineers and computer scientists working to develop alternative interface platforms and software applications. The efforts to facilitate a collaborative environment that showcases the innovative work being conducted could be improved through the development of a cohesive online gallery. The NUI group provides extensive documentation and resources related to the development of emerging multi-touch interfaces. Their wiki is a suitable environment for new-comers to learn more about advances in this area of study. However, the number of available libraries in conjunction with the potential implementations of these systems can be overwhelming to folks interested in learning more about building their own devices.
The online gallery that I am proposing to build would serve as a repository to allow developers to showcase working prototypes and completed projects. Consequently, community members could visit project sites to: learn what the project is about, learn how it was implemented, watch a demo, obtain a parts list and download available source code.
The gallery could be filtered by a number of criteria such as:
1. Languages (C, Python, Flash, Arduino, etc)
2. Libraries/Frameworks (TouchAPI, BBTouch, Iphone, etc)
3. Hardware (Cameras, projectors, etc)
4. Tags (generative art, music, games, etc)
5. Difficulty (easy, medium, difficult)
Contributors would be encouraged to provide the following information regarding their project entry:
1. Title, elevator pitch, description, project url, tags, difficulty, timeframe
2. Images / screenshots
4. Languages and libraries (with a section to view and download all custom source code)
5. Parts list / hardware
5. Optional tutorial/explanation (similar in format to a MAKE tutorial)
In addition, comments and other community features would be supported.
As a graduate student in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program, I am familiar with the process of learning new forms of computational expression. Showcase websites often aid in the synthesis of understanding new frameworks and generating ideas. For instance, the website ’OpenProcessing‘ allows the Processing community to share their sketches and ideas with one another. As a new-comer to Processing, this website was able to show me what kinds of things were possible using this scripting language (as opposed to Flash) and inspired me to create an interactive interface that allows users to interact with a number of Processing sketches using magnets and an Arduino microcontroller.
I would develop the online gallery using standard web technologies including: PHP, SMARTY, MySQL, jQuery, TinyMCE, SWFUpload, etc.
Showcasing innovative projects using disparate technologies could be a useful tool in the dissemination of resources and inspiration. It also provides contributors with a well-designed space to document and showcase their work. I also understand that there is already a ‘showcase’ link on the NUI wiki, however, a standalone gallery may help to better facilitate communal interest and will provide functionality that the current wiki page does not support.
Do you think an online gallery would help the NUI community? I’m interested in your thoughts!