DSI Multitouch construction – Part 3

Over the weekend I made a lot more progress on my multitouch coffee table. I also discovered some issues – firstly the original backlight emits way too much infra-red light so I am going to have to make a custom one out of ultra-bright LED strips, and secondly I don’t seem to be getting any blobs when placing a layer of glass or clear acrylic above the Endlighten. I get great blobs when touching the Endlighten directly, but I want to avoid this since it scratches easily.  More photos below.

Gluing and soldering the IR LEDs into aluminum rails… all 96 of them

The box so far

The power ‘terminal’ for the backlight, and the CCFL tubes in the bottom of the box

All the TV circuitry temporarily mounted in place, all the placement turned out great… the FFC cables brought no issues at all!

TV turned on… here I have no diffuser behind the LCD so you can clearly see the back light and the inside of the box

PS3 Camera poking through back light

Wiring the LEDs

Mounting PC parts –

  • MB: Asus P5E-Deluxe
  • CPU: Core2 Quad 2.8Ghz
  • RAM: 4GB 1066 DDR2
  • PSU: Coolmaster 460w
  • Graphics: Radeon 3850 (I think, though not pictured here)

DSI Multitouch construction – Part 2

Here are some more shots of the work in progress of the DSI Multitouch Coffee table I’m building. Last week the Endlighten arrived. This wasn’t the easiest to acquire – in Australia the only option really was to buy a full sheet which would have cost $1000+. The best place to get cut-to-size acrylic is through the Evonik Online Store. Unfortunately they don’t ship outside the US so I had to get an account set up at MyUS, which provides a US mailing address with package forwarding so I could order the Acrylic to this address then have it forward to my address. This turned out to be the cheapest option (I also looked into some other methods).

The package was packed pretty well with a wooden frame for protection:

Placing the Endlighten on the LCD with the aluminium LED rails sitting in place. A final layer of glass/abrasion resistant acrylic will sit flush on top, providing a seamless full glass top:

Shot from underneath showing standard clear acrylic (3mm thick from Bunnings) supporting the backlight light diffuser layers from the LCD:

Some more shots of the clear acrylic with the diffusers. The LCD originally had 4 diffusing layers, but I will probably only use the two ‘frosted’ ones. I might place the Fresnal layers directly on top the back light which will be sitting at the base of the unit.

Google Fonts API – It’s good and bad

Update 2017/07/17: This post was published a long time ago and a lot has changed since then. Now that font rendering has vastly improved in Browsers Google Fonts is a great choice for web fonts!

Recently Google has announced a new API which allows web designers to use custom fonts in their HTML/CSS websites. This API is great idea allowing designers to break away from the standard Arial/Courier/Times New Roman font families without resorting to images. After hearing about this announcement I headed over to the Google Font Directory to see what fonts were available. But I soon discovered that as good idea this API was, the fonts rendered like crap. The displayed with hard edges and no anti-aliasing, and when getting into smaller sized the text becomes unreadable. I tested the fonts in Firefox and Chrome and they both looked the same, so I can’t say how they look in other browsers. Have a look at the screen shots below to see for yourself (be sure to view them full size), or head over to the Google Font Directory .

As you can see in these images at smaller sizes some fonts are unreadable without anti-aliasing, so for now these custom fonts are probably only suitable for headings. But even then they still display with terrible hard edges.

Purple Squirrels Logo Ident

Here is a short logo ident I made for PurpleSquirrels in my spare time. It’s made in After Effects using Trapcode Particular, Form and Lux as well as Magic Bullet Mojo for a bit of colour grading.

32″ DSI Multitouch coffee table construction – Part 1

For a while now I have been planning a 32″ multitouch coffee table. DSI uses a special acrylic which when lit from the edges distrubutes even illumination across the panel. Over the last few weeks I have been collecting bits and pieces and this weekend I started making the top for the table. Photos below.

The TV I will be using – 32″ Full HD Samsung LCD

TV with the back casing removed

FFC cables could be a problem

Hopefully this long ribbon cable will allow me to use the original FFC cables

The LCD panel removed

The backlight

The CCFL tubes in the backlight… Looks like I will have to make a custom backlight

I decided to make the table top out of 3 sheets of MDF glued together

Lining the sheets up

Checking that the LCD fits

Glueing sheets togther

Who said Flash websites will need to be re-written?

Steve Jobs did in this blog post entitle ‘thoughs on Flash’. But if you watch the video below (thanks to this blog post by Lee Brimelow) you see that what Steve Jobs is just completely false. Here is what he said:

“Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. For example, many Flash websites rely on “rollovers”, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot.”

This video below clearly explains and demonstrates how rollovers and mouse events are handled by touch deviced in Flash.


Flash running smoothly on Nexus One

Here is a video showing Flash content playing quite nicely on the Google Nexus One mobile phone. The first example demonstrated is great with the 3D interactive animations rendering really smoothly.

Cool Microsoft Surface Videos

About a year ago I saw these videos pop up on YouTube showing some really cool physics and cloth simulations on Microsoft Surface. I though I would post them here for everyone to see and easily find them again.

Some more Flash Generative Art

Here are some more generative art pieces I have created in Flash. I am slowly getting better at it. Now that I have figured out how to get high res bitmaps exported from flash I can get much better quality images. These were created at about 2500 x 3000px.

Download the Hi-Res images here (ZIP, approx 22mb)

Vimeo Toy featured on Vimeo Forums

A couple weeks ago I created a toy for Vimeo. Vimeo toys a basically an interesting way to visualise a live activity feed. I’m excited to say that they loved my toy and they have featured it in their forums. You can view the toy by clicking the image above, or visit the forum post here.