Novel TUIO/FLC client for Flash/AS3October 19

Immanuel Bauer and Georg Kaindl implemented the LocalConnection approach, which allows to transmit OSC messages to Flash more efficiently using a shared memory method. In collaboration with Dean North and Johannes Luderschmidt they developed a Flash/AS3 library, which adopts the common TUIO client API, but also supports legacy applications based on the older TouchEvent class, as well as an alternative TUIO/TCP method as previously provided by touchgateweay. The current C++ implementation in CVS, already provides the two alternative TUIO/FLC and TUIO/TCP methods within an updated TUIO server API used by the SimpleSimulator example. There is also a TUIO/UDP to TUIO/FLC gateway available for TUIO trackers that only support the standard TUIO/UDP transport method. It is great that we finally can abandon the obsolete Flash/XML encapsulation, which has been used so far to communicate with Flash.

ICMI Workshop BerlinSeptember 8

After an intense weekend at the Ars Electronica festival I traveled to Berlin to attend the ICMI Workshop, where I was invited to hold the keynote speech on Tangible Musical Interfaces this year. There were quite a lot of interesting student presentations about innovative musical interfaces, and at the end of the workshop we had the difficult task to select one of the projects for a prize, which we sponsored on behalf of Reactable Systems. In the end we decided to split the prize in order to award the two most outstanding creations. The Attract-O-Tron by Frederik Kalisch and Steffen Müller are two exceptionally well designed hand-held musical artifacts, which generate sound using electric motors. The GRID table by Tobias Hornberger convinced through its thorough synthesizer and composition concept, which was realized using colored building blocks. Apart from these two awarded projects I’d like to mention some further brilliant projects, such as the the Air Piano by Omer Yosha, the Squawk controller by Dennis Helfrich as well as the Looplex table interface by Marcus Holzmayr.

TUIO software newsAugust 11

There have been several interesting new additions to the TUIO software collection during the past weeks. First of all researchers at the University of Konstanz created the Surface-To-Tuio bridge, which implements a TUIO object and cursor source for the Microsoft Surface.This allows to directly use a growing collection of open source software on this commercial platform. Another interesting innovation is MultiPointer TUIO, which uses several mice to simulate multi-touch via TUIO on Windows. And two independent projects added browser support using different approaches, PookyTouch is a Firefox/XUL extension, while npTuioClient provides a browser plugin.

Vienna Open LabAugust 10

Last Friday I participated in a DNA fingerprinting workshop at the Vienna Open Lab, a public access biotech laboratory, which offers basic courses to learn about DNA technology. The excursion was organized by some biohackers, who attended the PlumberCon hacker conference, which took place last weekend at the WerkzeugH. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to attend the conference, but nevertheless I really enjoyed messing around with DNA samples at the lab. Since now I know all the basics about junk DNA, STR markers, the PCR and gel electrophoresis I am already looking forward to do something with that knowledge.

metalab viennaJune 16

The metalab is Vienna’s most active hacklab, where people meet up and work on their various hardware, software and other community projects. It seems to be a quite open place, they offer a membership program, which allows people to take advantage of the quite advanced infrastructure, but apparently they are even allowing non-members to participate. Last weekend the lab celebrated its 3rd anniversary with an exhibition showing most of the work that has been done during the last three years. Of course they have their own 3D printer, but other fun projects which caught my attention were the robotflowr and an interesting LED device that allowed writing on fluorescent paper. And they even showed a performancer table based on reacTIVision, what a surprise!
After talking to a bunch of nice people, we agreed that I will do a presentation there for the next Dorkbot Vienna on Sunday June 28th.

Back from PortugalMay 15

Since my web server (hosted by kooperative.at) was upgraded last week, here follows my delayed report on my last trip to Portugal. Before attending the OFFF festival in Oeiras, I had the chance to meet the people from ALTlab, an emerging hacklab community in Lisbon, dedicated to open hardware projects. Currently they are working on the PAPERduino and they are also planning to build there own 3D printer, based on the open Reprap design. Unfortunately I was only able to attend half of the OFFF presentations, but I particularly was impressed by the talks of Karsten Schmidt and Aaron Koblin, two of the most creative innovators in the visualisation scene. Karsten aka toxi is also the author of a nice fiducial generator application that can be used with reacTIVision. The really remarkable music program at OFFF was mostly covered by the guys from the raster noton label.

The TronsMay 3

Yesterday I got the chance to see the robot band The Trons live at the Time’s Up lab at the harbour in Linz. The Trons have been brought to life by Greg Locke from New Zealand, who is currently touring around Europe with his creation. The band consists of four mechanical robots playing bass, guitar, drums and keyboard in a very particular style. Also the overall aesthetic design of the robot stage presence is quite remarkable. Check out this video on Youtube to see yourself.

Tangible Musical InterfacesApril 17

Finally I finished the long overdue update of my listing of Tangible Musical Interfaces where I have been collecting some quite remarkable projects within the growing area of tangible interfaces for music. Most of the examples have been selected because of their overall relation to the reactable in some way, but the new site also attempts to group the various instruments into music tables, token based sequencers or musical artifacts for example. The collection includes a description of each project along with a short video clip.

reacTable on TV TotalApril 7

To conclude our Germany tour Günter and I tonight showed the reacTable at the German TV show “TV Total”. After the initial recording we weren’t too convinced if this was such a good idea, but in the end the actual broadcast turned out better than expected. Television is in deed a strange universe …

reacTable at ZKM KarlsruheApril 5

Tomorrow I will organize the installation of a reacTable, which will be part of the YOU_ser 2.0 exhibition at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany, where it will be shown from May 1st until August 30th 2009. Obviously I am quite happy that our instrument is featured at such a great media art museum.

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