Kontact touch screen plugins for VizRT

I’ve been working on software for touch screens recently. We’ve created a variety of systems that have been automated for the production teams to drive, with a series of C# web services through IIS, a set of javascript scripted web pages and the graphics produced from VizRT. Normally we would have had to script much of the interaction using Viz’s fairly primitive version of vbScript which has little in the way of modern development tools. What has helped has been the use of a TUIO gateway and and a set of plugins from Pete Lane at Kenziko. Their Kontact suite of plugins allow very easy interaction to be used by a Viz designer; a lot of the interaction can be done without any scripting at all. I’ve been putting together some documentation for them, which they should have available by now.

It really is as simple as adding plugins in the same way as adding Datapool and other similar functions to the scene. The plugins vary from a simple single touch to animate a Director, to very sophisticated plugins which allow control of a scrolling list or similar complex interactions. They fit into most type of interface being used behind the scenes. It will allow the designer to fire off or continue a director, to run a script, to set Datapool variables or to set and read from shared memory variables. They are all easy to use, but I’m impressed by how efficient the shared memory system is. We are using it within other data collection systems in boxing and other sports and it has performed perfectly for us.

As well as helping within the scenes, the Kontact TUIO gateway allows more complex connections to be handled between more than one screen. We have a rehearsal screen set up and the Viz can be shared between the two. Control is via a simple web page (we use our iPhone when on the studio floor!) and the change of configuration is automated for speed and ease of use.

We’re using the system with Panasonic screens and either UElektrosil or U-Touch sensors. There are many more TUIO systems about to hit production, so I’m sure we shall much more of this as prices come down.

I’m sure there will be more to come from Kenziko, as they have generated a lot of interest from their IBC appearance. They should be at NAB next year if you’re on that side of the Atlantic. I’d recommend going to see their telestration system using touchscreen or iPads which should be available by then.

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