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Michael Mangialardi

Dan Widing
Erik Johnson

SEED Proposal for Multi-Touch Screen using
Frustrated Total Internal Reflection

The goal of this project is to develop a simple, effective, and inexpensive multi-
touch screen for the IEEE student chapter at UIUC. The planned screen will allow users
to interact directly with the computer display surface using multiple simultaneous
touches. This will be accomplished using the technology and techniques detailed by
Jeffery Han of New York University in his paper “Low-Cost Multi-Touch Sensing
through Frustrated Total Internal Reflection.” Once completed, the project will provide a
unique platform for IEEE students to implement signal processing and human computer
interface projects.

Sample of multi-touch screen, from “Low-Cost Multi-Touch Sensing through Frustrated Total Internal
Reflection” (J. Han).


Diagram of proposed system, from “Low-Cost Multi-Touch Sensing through Frustrated Total Internal
Reflection” (J. Han).

The infrared light is reflected within the Plexiglas by the phenomenon of total internal reflection. The infrared camera used in the initial implementation of this project will be a standard Microsoft Lifecam VX-1000 webcam with the infrared filter removed. making it infrared sensitive. For this project. an infrared camera. When contact is made with the touch surface. and a personal computer. The multi-touch screen will be implemented using a combination of hardware and software.3 Mega pixel Microsoft VX-1000 USB webcam (already available) PC: Laptop or Desktop computer (already available) Total. This will allow the use of Intel’s OpenCV project.$140 . This USB device will interface directly to the computer. a robust open source image processing library written in C/C++. resistors. creating an infrared pattern visible to the infrared camera. For the touch surface. It consists of a touch surface (which also is the display surface).$15 Vinyl Rear Projection Surface -$20 Mounting Material -$20 Camera: . a projector. the computer will provide the signal processing and programming necessary to create applications. The image processing will be done using the C/C++ languages. allowing for a unique and powerful user interface. This can be accomplished by stretching a layer of vinyl rear-projection screen material over the touch surface.$50 20 IR LEDs -$20 Battery. Materials Needed For Initial Implementation: Touch Screen: 4’X4’x1/2” Acrylic Sheet . the core technique used in this project will be Frustrated Total Internal Reflection. Position data created by the image processing can then be used by applications run on the PC. the total internal reflection is frustrated. allowing the user to interact directly with the displayed images. it is best if the touch surface and the display surface are the same. As the total internal reflection is occurring in the infrared spectrum. and wire for DC circuit -$15 Baffle Material . Potential applications could be written using OpenGL or Ogre3D for the graphics and projected directly onto the touch surface. it is possible to project visible spectrum light onto the rear-projection screen without interfering with the camera operation. The surface will consist of a piece of Plexiglas surrounded on the edge by several infrared LEDs powered by a simple DC circuit. In this project.

Michael Mangialardi (Eng Phys). image processing development. Dan Widing (MatSE/Comp Sci). Once the hardware and image processing phases are complete. . By the end of the semester. the hardware platform and image processing software should be developed.5 weeks Building: 3 weeks Debugging: 1. any number of volunteers could participate using a content managing system to develop applications and image processing code. Growth Options (for consideration after successful implementation): Camera: IR Optical cut-off filter. volunteers will be able to lead and develop their own image processing and application projects.$100 Projector: LCD projector (borrowed for demonstration) Brief Timeline: This project will consist of three main phases: hardware development.$50 1. Around 5 volunteers could be used during the hardware development phase. The goal is to create a platform where new users can develop new applications and add to the image processing library indefinitely. especially for the image processing and application development. there is already a core group of three people to lead the project: Erik Johnson (ECE). Hardware Development: Procuring materials: 1. and initial application development. Volunteers will be welcome.1 Mega pixel IR Camera . The timeline of this project runs throughout the fall semester.5 weeks Producing data sets: 1 week Image Processing Development: Analyzing data sets: 1 week Developing initial touch recognition software: 4 weeks Debugging developed software: 2 weeks Creating basic API: 2 weeks Initial application: Create OpenGL code: 3 weeks Debug OpenGL code: 1 week Demo OpenGL code: 1 week People: To begin this project. Once the hardware platform is in place. Once the platform is in place. the application development phase becomes open ended.

. To document the code. Ownership The IEEE student chapter of University of Illinois has the right to any hardware purchased and produced by this project. along with example code and applications.Documentation Plan: The thorough documentation of this project will be critical for allowing further projects to be done on this platform. the code will be fully commented. updated as the project advances. we will do several things. The hardware details and construction will be fully photographed and documented. First. and may need storage room in the form of an IEEE locker. Facilities and Equipment This project will use the IEEE lab regularly. the finished screen will remain with the IEEE lab to promote further development on the platform. Second. Ideally. also in a wiki-style format. This will be tied in with a content managing server (using a program such as CVS) to allow and control further contributions to the image processing and application code. Hopefully this will be hosted online and allow further dissemination of this technology and design. the code functionality will be documented in a wiki-style format. The progress of this project will simply be documented in a word file.