Nov 13, 2010

HACKED KINECT MULTITOUCH using libFreenect and libTISCH (via Florian Echtler)

Here is NUI-Group member Florian Echtler's  proof-of-concept HD video of using a hacked Kinect camera for multitouch-like interaction.  The application was built on Ubuntu Linux written using libfreenect, by marcan42  and Florian's creation, libTISCH.

Florian decided to use picture-browsing interaction to demonstrate proof-of concept, so "everybody can focus on more interesting things :-)"

(I have SO many ideas for this!  I'll throw a few out there in an upcoming post....maybe someone can run with them!)

Hacked Kinect taught to work as multitouch interface
Paul Miller, engadget, 11/11/10

TISCH stands for Tangible Interactive Surfaces for Collaboration between Humans, and is a cross-platform, cross device multi-touch development framework.  You can download the source package for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux from the TISCH Sourceforge website. The Ubantu Lucid/Karmac version has "superquick installation via PPA" - the instructions can be found on the TISCH Sourceforge website.

LibFreenect- Open Source PC Drivers for Kinect
Xan Tium, XBLOG 360 11/10/10

Marcan is Hector Martin Cantero, the author of the Abort, Retry, Hack? blog.

For your convenience, I've reposted something I wrote about libTISCH back in 2009:

For techies (and the tech-curious) who like technologies that support collaboration and multi-touch interaction,  this is great news!

Florian Echtler announced the first stable releas of libTISCH, a multi-touch development framwork, which can be found on Sourceforge.  TISCH stands for Tangible Interaction Surfaces for Collaboration between Humans.  libTISCH, a C++ software framework, is included in this project.  It provides a means for creating GUIs based on multi-touch and/or tangible input devices.

Here is how it works:

Architecture Layers

Here is information from libTISCH announcement:

Highlights of this release are, among others, the following features:

- ready-to-use multitouch widgets based on OpenGL
- reconfigurable, hardware-independent gesture recognition engine
- support for widely used (move, scale, rotate..), pre-defined gestures
 as well as custom-defined gestures

- hardware drivers for FTIR, DI, Wiimote, DiamondTouch..
- TUIO converters: source and sink

- cross-platform: Linux, MacOS X, Windows (32 and 64 bit)
- cross-language: C++ with bindings for C#, Java, Python

libTISCH has a lot to offer for the multitouch developer. For example, 
the textured widgets enable rapid development of applications for many
kinds of multi-touch or tangible interfaces. The separate gesture
recognition engine allows the translation of a wide range of highly
configurable gestures into pre-defined or custom events which are then
acted on by the widgets. While the lower layers of libTISCH provide
functionality similar to tbeta, touche etc. (you can interface existing
TUIO-based software with libTISCH in both directions), it goes far

More information about the library and underlying architecture can be found on and in the Sourceforge wiki at

Dr. Florian Echtler is on the scientific staff at the Technisch Universitat Munchen in Germany. Be sure to check out his  webpage.

I especially like the concept of the MeTaTop: "A Multi-Sensory Table Top System for Medical Procedures" that is linked from Florian's website.

MeTaTop A Multi Sensory Table Top System for Medical Procedures


AndreyGolub said...

Oh my God, it's already a "Minotiry Report" interface! ;)

Lynn Marentette said...

: )