Touch screens

We have the chance to put some touch screen systems into the Sky Sports News studio. The system will use the VizRT hardware for rendering and playing of clips and the interface to drive it all will be a 65″ touch screen. Very cool. We have worked with several touch screens in the past, mostly UTouch and with only a single touch. This system will have the benefit of using a multi (up to 32) touch system. The demos have used the dreaMTouch software from Citron, on a 46″ screen and it feels very responsive and smooth. Because of the multi touch, it has a far more robust interface and can deal with people touching the screen around the edge, so it would be ideal for a touch table. The graphics and VizRT scripting from Pete Lane and Przemek Pluta complete the picture. They have done some great looking tests.

The dreaMTouch software has worked well and the interface to VizRT is through a gateway using TUIO. We have tested three gateways; initially the one from Thomas Molden in Germany, later the VizRT provided software and lastly the Kenziko Konnect software. Thomas’ software comes with a set of plugins and an impressive set of demos. He has a lot of experience in this area and it shows in the types of work he has done. The Viz software is a new release. It has a few bugs perhaps and is just a basic gateway; no plugins. However, it is free, so it does have some benefits and it would interface to a UTouch screen if we decided to go that way. The Kenziko software is also a gateway at the moment, but is promising plugins as a later addition. It is simple and seems to work well and the licence means that it will be cheaper for us in the longer term.

The screens themselves come through ionoco, in Winchester, who have a great deal of experience in the television and game show market.

The software works by identifying the object within the Viz scene that is under the touch event, either single or multiple touches. This is given an object id to match the touch ids. This object will then get all the events happening to that touch id, such as a movement or rotation operation. This can then be used to move, rotate and scale the object much as you’ve seen in all the expensive looking demos. Response time is good, around 45fps is shown on the interface and it certainly feels smooth.


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