Mar 18, 2009

More for Multi-touch: NextWindow Plug-in for Natural User Interface's Snowflake Multi-touch Software -and more.

Those of you have an HP TouchSmart, Dell Studio One PC, or NextWindow displays might be interested in the new NUI plug-in that supports NUI Suite Snowflake software. Here are the features of the plugin, according to information from the Natural User Interface website:
  • Detailed user manual included with FAQ
  • Developed on fast and reliable C++ platform
  • Intuitive
  • Customizable
  • Gesture recognition library
  • TUIO/OSC (Open Sound Control) support (sending and receiving events)
  • Low level API
  • Hardware accelerated rendering
  • Support for wide variety of media types
  • Advanced window handler that supports scaling and rotation
  • Suitable for Windows® XP and Windows® Vista (Mac OSX and Linux can be developed on request)
  • Audio support
  • Single, dual support
  • Multi-threaded resource handler (For fast data visualization)

"NUI has partnered up with NextWindow™, an international leader in the development of optical multi-touch technology and the manufacturer of optical multi-touch screens, overlays and OEM touch components."

"NextWindow™'s integrated technology allows for natural and intuitive interaction of digital content on flat TFT, LCD and Plasma solutions."

"The NUI NextWindow™ plug-in can be used with any programming language that supports TUIO, i.e. C/C++/C#, Java, Flash, Python, VVVV etc, meaning that software developers can run their own applications on NextWindow™, utilizing the NUI NextWindow™ plug-in."

I became a fan of NextWindow touch-screen displays in early 2007 when I worked on a couple of touch-screen projects in my HCI and Ubicomp classes at UNC-Charlotte.

I've been using my HP TouchSmart PC at work with students with disabilities. I'm experimenting with the NUI Suite SnowFlake on my TouchSmart, and found that interacting with the Particles application delighted students with severe autism. The activities provided opportunities to establish joint attention. I also noticed an increase in the number of vocalizations and/or verbalizations among the students. Of course, this was NOT a scientific study.

Definition of Joint Attention from UConn:

"Joint Attention is the process of sharing one’s experience of observing an object or event, by following gaze or pointing gestures. It is critical for social development, language acquisition, cognitive development…"

Establishing joint attention is an important step in the development of social interaction skills among young people who have autism spectrum disorders.

More about joint attention:

Joint Attention Study Has Implication for Understanding Autism
Science Daily, 9/29/07

Asperger-Advice: Joint Attention

Autism Games: Joint Attention and Reciprocity

Why is joint attention a pivotal skill in autism?
Tony Charman
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2003 February 28; 358(1430): 315–324.
doi: 10.1098/rstb.2002.1199.

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