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Draw An Interactive Synth Control Panel On A Piece Of Paper

A simple blank sheet is transformed into an usable interface using simple programming.

Dylan Schenker
Dylan Schenker on May 21, 2012.

What if every surface could be an interface? Even better, what if controls could be drawn on anything to give users immediate access to a program or piece of software?

We might not be just there yet, but programs like SketchSynth envision how projection and motion tracking technology could be used to create ad hoc interactive control panels on the go.

Created by Bill Keyes as the final project for media artist Golan Levin’s Interactive Art and Design class at CMU, it allows anyone to draw an Open Sound Control (OSC) panel on a piece of paper. In this case the control panel operates a synthesizer built with the visual programming language, PureData.

Sliders, toggle switches and buttons can be drawn which are then lit up by a projector. When highlighted by their designated shapes they become immediately interactive when read by a web cam. Although it is limited to the three types of buttons any number of each can be drawn to customize the panel.

The program was designed with programming language openFrameworks with help from the ofxCv addon by Kyle McDonald.

Check out the video below to see the amazing technology in action:

Bill Keyes

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