This project was an exploration into building a multi-touch hardware setup and development of multi-touch application using Processing.


The applied technology, within this project, is called FTIR (Frustrated Total Internal Reflection).

An acrylic panel is edge lit with infrared LEDs. When fingers touch the acrylic panel, it scatters infrared light which can be detected by the modified IR camera located underneath the acrylic panel.

For the software part, I used Touchlib as the Multi-touch sever which handles tracking tips of fingers and relaying their location to application software (Processing).



After building the hardware and configuring the setup, the next challenging part was to write a multi-touch application. I decided to use Processing to create some graphic motions because it's more friendly learning curve and ability to write minimum code to create interactive content. I also want to be more familiar with the physics programming and I learned a lot about how to use some basic physics laws, such as acceleration and decay, to create some playful finger gestures.

From the ideation at the beginning, I came up with three effect ideas, which I called fading circle, dropping particle and vibrato. In this Processing sketch, you can switch to different effects and control the performance by changing some parameters.