MultiTouch MultiMedia - a proposal for Maker Faire 2007
Who / What / How / Why
Tim Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 408-292-4245
MultiTouch is the ability of an input controller to detect multiple fingers
simultaneously. Multitouch input devices are just starting to be seen
in the real world, rather than just in the movies (the most famous being
"Minority Report"). MAKE magazine has even declared them the
The Future of Interfaces.
For Maker Faire 2007, I propose to demonstrate a variety of
graphical, musical, video, and browser-based applications that I've developed
that show some of the unique capabilities of use of MultiTouch controllers.
Below is a picture of the custom controller
I've built containing 3 Fingerworks iGesture pads (each capable of
detecting multiple fingers simultaneously with excellent resolution and
responsiveness), and a JLCooper CS32 with lots of sliders and buttons for
The demonstrations will include:
- MultiTouch drawing of a variety of geometric graphics
- MultiTouch generation of music
- MultiTouch drawing and generation of music, simultaneously
- MultiTouch manipulation of live video camera input
- MultiTouch interfacing to Flash (browser-based) applications
The custom software I've developed for these applications
uses a combination of Python (a general-purpose scripting language),
KeyKit (a special-purpose language for MIDI which I wrote for myself back
in the 1990's), and VVVV (a system for video processing,
using FreeFrame plugins).
I'll have detailed descriptions of the implementation of the applications
and the tools for graphics and music that I've used, most of which are
freely available on the web. Some of the music will be algorithmically
generated, using KeyKit. Depending on the interest of the Faire-goers,
I can discuss anything from the low-level programming to high-level
algorithms and applications, and there's no doubt that Faire-goers
will have lots of ideas of their own about how the applications
The MultiTouch controller will be freely accessible to Faire-goers - the goal
of the demo is to be completely audience-controlled. A projector will be
displaying the graphics on a screen or wall. Small speakers will be used
for the sound (medium/focused volume).
With the upcoming release of the Apple iPhone (which has a multi-touch
display), there will be significant interest in this type of interface.
I'm currently using a multitouch controller that is
no longer manufactured (and occasionally available on ebay),
but there are open-source toolkits which hobbyists can
use to develop these kind of multi-finger interfaces fairly cheaply
). One of my goals is to make more people aware of the
unique capabilities (and FUN!) of multifinger interfaces,
and provide information about how they can
create their own and experiment with them. I believe that
multitouch controllers are particularly and uniquely powerful in
artistic applications, which is the focus of my work and demonstration.