January 26th, 2008

Getting in to ReacTable

Spanish open source project ReacTable has been in my ear a lot recently.

ReacTIVision Invitation cards

First it was integrated in an invitation to an event I went along to recently. After arriving at the event and you were able to use the invitation card (about the size and thickness of a credit card with an ReacTable style amoeba shape on it) to see your fortune for the year up on a screen while moving the card about on the sensor table.

Then Ernst-Jan Pfauth from The Next Web (which I am also occasionally writing for) included a small note on it in his report on the European Music Revolution.

Basically it is based on a piece of software called ReacTIVision which is “…an open source, cross-platform computer vision framework for the fast and robust tracking of fiducial markers attached onto physical objects, as well as for multi-touch finger tracking.” It can track unique amoeba shaped images on objects via a camera and then pass on information about position, rotation and which object is being recorded on to another application.

After seeing the invitation system and then being wowed by the very cool music application linked to by Earnst-Jan …

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… I had to learn some more.

After a bit of experimentation and playing about I got the system working sending data to a Flash application and manipulating that display with a visual interface. The data itself is very interesting and I am already looking at plenty of fun and interesting applications to use it for.

If anyone wants to add something extra to an event or interactive space, let me know. This is fun, exciting and impressive technology.

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