Tangible interactions are interactions that establish a physical connection between the real-world of a user and the virtual world of a screen. For example, placing an object directly on a screen to pull up information about a specific topic. Tangible objects can have very different shapes, enabling their use across fields such as museums, restaurants, trade shows, and any other business where the use of objects can bring novelty, fun, and utility to user interaction.
NOTE: To work with tangible objects, Intuiface requires the use of Windows-based PCs and requires the hardware/middleware detecting those objects to communicate using the TUIO protocol.
Intuiface does not detect or recognize tangible objects, that is the job of hardware/middleware dedicated to tangible object detection and recognition. Rather, Intuiface enables you to react to the appearance, movement, or removal of these objects. The process is as follows:
- The hardware/middleware detects one or more tangible objects and identifies them.
- Information about the detected objects is sent to a Windows PC via the TUIO protocol.
- Intuiface's TUIO Interface Asset captures the TUIO-encoded information
- Intuiface raises the appropriate trigger associated with the TUIO Interface Asset - object detected / object moved / object lost - with information about each detected object (unique identifier, X & Y location, orientation).
- As with any other trigger, you can use these TUIO triggers to call any one or more actions in your Intuiface experience.
- You can also display a collection of currently detected objects using a data template.
Third-party solutions for tangible object detection
eyefactive: Intuiface partner providing tangible object recognition. Setting up the MORE Engine (Multi Object Recognition) with Intuiface is plug&play without any need for a configuration or calibration. The slim and sleek tags/markers can be attached to products or integrated into any kind of object/sculpture (conductive as well as non-conductive materials). Contact eyefactive for more information and free demos.
Promultis: Intuiface partner who manufactures displays and middleware that, together, can be used to detect tangible objects. Contact Promultis for more information. The next two images show an Intuiface-based experience built by Promultis that uses their display and middleware.
More examples of Promultis work with Intuiface
Displax: Object recognition is available out-of-the-box with their touch foils; the only separate purchase is for the tags. Below is a short video showing their object recognition tech in action. Contact Displax for information.
TUIO (Tangible User Interface Objects) is an open framework defining a common protocol and API for use with multi-touch surfaces that optionally support tangible object recognition. The TUIO protocol enables the transmission of an abstract description of both touch events and tangible object states. You can read more information about this specification on the official TUIO website.
Intuiface already supports touch events transmitted by the TUIO protocol as tuio/2Dcur events. To add support for tuio/2Dobj TUIO object events, you have to add the TUIO Interface Asset to your experience and use its properties and triggers to control your experience.
If you don't have a TUIO enabled device when building your experiences with Composer, you can use one of the TUIO Simulators listed towards the bottom of this TUIO website page. We recommend using the Java-based standard TUIO Simulator application: download / ReadMe on GitHub.
NOTE: This Interface Asset is still a work in progress. It is provided as beta software in the sample below.
- TUIO Port: 3333 by default on most TUIO-enabled devices, but can be changed if needed.
- Experience Width: Specify your experience width (default: 1920) to automatically convert the TUIO coordinates (0 to 1) to usable values in your bindings.
- Experience Height: Specify your experience height (default: 1080) to automatically convert the TUIO coordinates (0 to 1) to usable values in your bindings.
- Use predefined IDs:
- if unchecked, any object recognized will appear in the TUIO Objects data feed.
- if checked, only uses the objects listed in the next section.
- Predefined IDs: if "Use predefined IDs" is checked, these are the only IDs that should be tracked in this experience. IDs should be entered as a comma-separated list. For example: 1,2,3
- X Offset: if "Use predefined IDs" is checked, this is the offset applied between each object when they are moved out of the scene (= not detected).
- Y Offset: if "Use predefined IDs" is checked, this is the offset applied to move the object out of the scene when not used (= not detected).
The properties below are read-only, meaning they are only accessible via binding.
- TUIO Objects: the list of currently detected objects. Each object has the following properties:
- Session ID: temporary object ID that changes each time it appears/disappears.
- Symbol ID: unique, predefined ID of the object; unlike the Session ID, the Symbol ID is permanent, not temporary
- X Pos: the X position of the center of the object between 0 and 1. To get the actual X coordinate, multiply the value of this property by the width of your experience, measured in pixels, using the Multiply converter.
- Y Pos: the Y position of the object between 0 and 1. To get the actual Y coordinate, multiply the value of this property by the height of your experience, measured in pixels, using the Multiply converter.
- Angle: the rotational angle of the object.
All of these triggers generate the read only properties mentioned above
- Object Added: Raised when a new object has been detected
- Object Removed: Raised when an object has disappeared
You can download a test sample containing the TUIO Interface Asset by clicking this link.