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Virtual Touch Screen



Introduction

   This application aims at improving user experience by providing a touch screen experience with gestures. Currently touch screen enabled-applications have become increasingly popular. However, classical PCs cannot benefit from this new type of input. This application tries to fill this gap by providing touch screen experience on any type of PC/device using a Creative Interactive Gesture Camera and perceptual computing.
   The virtual touch screen is represented by the sphere centered on the camera and of radius equal with a virtual touch screen threshold. Once the fingers are on the sphere or inside a touch event is generated. Since both the thumb and the index fingers are tracked, in theory, all eight gestures supported in Windows 8 are available:
 - Press and Hold
 - Tap
 - Slide
 - Swipe
 - Pinch
 - Stretch
 - Swipe from Edge
 - Turn
However, in practice, with a single camera, the distance estimation has fluctuations that might have a negative impact on virtual touch screen accuracy. 
   The virtual touch screen threshold is configurable through the configuration dialog. Finger icon (*.jpg and *.png image formats are supported) and its size can also be changed. Both the thumb and the index fingers use the same icon, but the thumb finger uses the icon rotated with 90 degrees counterclock wise. If needed, the thumb finger icon can be hidden while the touch events from the thumb are still received. The coordinates of the upper-left corner of the area covered by the fingers can be changed, also the scaling factor used to make sure that the entire screen area is covered.
   The following shortcut keys are available:
 - F1: shows this help
 - F2: shows the configuration dialog
 - Ctrl+q: quits the application
In order to receive the shortcut keys the application needs to have the focus. In order to have the focus either click on the application icon on the main toolbar or click the pointer.


Installation and Utilisation

   For installation use the provided installer. Application executable and required libraries are installed in the chosen location. Also, the drivers needed by Creative Interactive Perceptual Camera are installed and Intel Perceptual Computing (PC) SDK 2013. An uninstaller is also provided for the application, the camera drivers and PC SDK need to be uninstalled separately. 
   The application has been tested on Windows 8 64 bits. Please note that this application is a Windows 8 
Desktop application. It is recommended not to use this application on a heavily loaded computer, that might slow down the rate at which image frames are received from the camera.


                                                                    Implementation

   This application needs a Creative Interactive Gesture Camera. The application is implemented in C++ with Qt 5.1 using Intel PC SDK 2013 and openCV for Kalman filter support. You can grab the source code from GitHub.