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Hardware Overview

Hardware Research
Most of our hardware research was carried out online on the NUI Group Forum. Once we made the decision to build a DI system, we had to find out what were the best materials to get to most positive results on a budget.


Projector

Our first major concern was the projector. We wanted to build a multi-touch table with good usability features.So we needed a  short throw projector to create a large screen while still keeping the table at a functional height. When we found the perfect projector, the Benq MMP771,     we had to order it from Poland as it is not released for distribution in Ireland yet.

Webcam
Our next hardware issue was a to find a suitable webcam. We originally bought a Targus webcam for the first prototype, but damaged it when we tried to remove the IR filter. We then purchased a Microsoft VX100 but it was a poor camera and we had issues with the narrow field of view and frame rate.
So we had to find a good quality camera that is easy to remove the IR filter with a high frame rate for blob detection and also with a wide field of view to read the complete screen surface from underneath the table. We concluded from our research the best camera to suit our purposes is the ‘Sony PS3 eye’ webcam. We purchased this product in Game in Ballincollig.

IR illuminators
The final major component of the hardware of our multi-touch table was IR illuminators. We had to consider the size of our screen, the height of the table and the wavelenght of the LED’s when considering buying the IR illuminators. When we weighed up the variables and our options we bought 2 x 148 boards from Hong Kong. Unfortunately our LED lights arrived with no power supply so we picked up a switched Mode AC to DC adaptor in maplin Electronics. We also bought a pack of 5 amp terminl blocks to connect the LED lights to the power supply. It was a fairly straight forward procedure connecting and powering up the two boards which we ran at 12 volts.



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