Low / no cost input devices for RoomWare

Posted on August 10, 2009


Low cost means of input:

  1. QR-codes
  2. Virtual Dials (AR Toolkit + camera + fiducials)
  3. Scraping / sound


QR-codes can be printed on plain paper and contain any kind of data. Several scenarios are possible.

  1. To link your personal profile on an online service to a RFID tag / card
  2. To do a handshake using a mobile phone to show the QR code you get from the RoomWare application to a reader in the room

QR-codes, user input, web cams and Flash

Flash ActionScript is fast enough to translate QR-codes and map fiducials

Virtual dials

Using the RoomWare Server, Flash, a web cam, a glass plate, fiducials pasted on a hard surface and the part of AR Toolkit that reads position and location you can translate position, rotation and tilt to data which links to specific objects. Each object can be manipulated by the virtual dials.

You can use it to set temperature, volume, light intensity, etcetera via the RoomWare Server.

It does the same as the part of the reactable that reads the fiducials (the printed shapes on the cubes)

Scraping / sound

Using Adobe Flash, a microphone, sound and patterns in sound, you can use “gestures” on a surface to perform specific action. See this page and video from Chris Harrison for a simple implementation.

More sophisticated is this solution, using sound and mapping of sound on surfaces to define the X/Y position of the sound origin. Making it possible to create virtual keyboards.

Sound input can be i.e. by simple means of speed of sound intervals (scraping your nail across a ribbled surface like used on “3D” post cards to up/lower the volume of your MP3 player), volume (tapping harder or softer on the surface to confirm/deny) or frequency (high/low) and sound patterns (like the scraping example by Chris Harrison) do perform specific tasks.

Biggest benefit is that any surface can act as an interactive element without you having to build/solder anything.

It extends the screen and can be used as an alternate form of input.

Posted in: RoomWare