Multi Touch Laser Sensor – OptiTUIO

Multi Touch Laser Sensor

In this article we want to describe the usage and the meaning of the Multi Touch Laser Sensor – OptiTUIO. We made a lot of research in the web the past month but couldn’t find a clear definition for this term.

Since more then ten years we are in the market area for interactive presentations with the software Ventuz. Years ago everything was controlled by keyboard, MIDI mixers or with a touch interface which was running on a external little Touchscreen. Every month we got new requests from customers to make the application bigger and more easy to control with some new interactive device. So we started to use Infrared Frames to make our show screen touchable and interactive for the user.

The past years all the screens got bigger and the prices for infrared frames got more expensive. We had to rethink and we came into the need to find other solutions. A big negative issue with the infrared frames was, that you need to have a infrared-frame in the same size like the screen. But usually each customer wanted to have another screen size.

TUIO the Multi touch Framework…

TUIO is a open framework that defines the protocol and API for multi touch devices. TUIO transmits a abstract description for interactive surfaces. This protocol encodes the raw data from tracker applications and sends it to any client application that is capable of understanding and decoding the protocol. TUIO is based on the Open Sound Control – OSC.

With this protocol we started to choose some devices and made some implementations to use this devices to interact with our applications.

We made implementations for the Microsoft Kinect depth sensor, to interact directly and in realtime with our presentations.

With this implementation we can control presentations with gestures like: Swipes- left, right, up, down, Wipes with our hands, kicks with our feed and many others. Our Kinect interface can track up to 5 peoples at the same time and gives you a the raw skeleton data for each person. This data is the exact position from each main joint of your arms, legs and head. This makes it very easy to implement a huge variety of applications with Ventuz and the Kinect Camera.

Another very useful invention from Interactive Asia is our Touch Laser Device – OptiTUIO. This device is also based on the TUIO protocol and gives you the ability to change any flat surface into a multitouch surface.

Let me try to explain in simple words how OptiTUIO is working.

We have to use a industrial Laser Range finder from some manufacturers like Leuze, Sick or Hokuyo.

Multi Touch Laser sensor

This Laser Range sensor sends out a invisible laser beam. At the same time this laser beam is rotating up to 50 times per second. At each angel (0.25 degrees) the sensor gives us the raw data of the length of the laser ray.

That means we have 50 times per second a 2D cut of the environment, depending on the location of the laser. Now we imagine that we put that laser in front of a wall and we project onto this wall. If we take a look into our OptiTUIO software we can see the following now…

Multi Touch Laser Sensor | OptiTUIO

The blue colored surface visualizes the raw data from the laser sensor. The green square represents a screen or a projection area. If we put a finger or hand or any other object into that area, the laser beam will recognize this object. OptiTUIO will send this touch point or many of them via the TUIO protocol to a client machine or to the same machine.

OptiTUIO also supports Windows Touch or Windows Desktop Mouse control.

With this technology you are able to make huge interactive installations. Its a very simple thing to make your huge LED wall interactive or touchable. Event and Show companies finalized many successful projects with OptiTUIO already.


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Best Greetings from the team of

Interactive Asia


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