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waving a hand: a common gesture to mean Hi!

PostPosted: 12 Nov 2005, 18:40
by LuciferII
Greetings to the forum!

Me: regular? finnish guy in Finland.
Too many ideas in my head.
I turn to You.

Stating business..:
I'm looking for a FingerBoard: ... ing&ID=259

This is my first post so its a bit akward.
Please understand.
I'm sadly one of those 'come-late-jacks', realization came after 2years of knowing this product. I hit myself around for that, i would have had the finance to aquire FW products way before they closed.

Said no more, until next he spoke....


PostPosted: 12 Nov 2005, 19:52
by Rqyteqto

Sad to hear your situation but you never know what will come. Watch EBay, relentlessly. Check out Craigslists, all of them, you never know and everywhere is now only a couple of weeks away, at most. More likely a couple of days.

There are some of us working on giving the iGesture boards some of the capabilities of the TS and there are iGestures available at not too grotesque prices.

Meanwhile we all hope, somehow, someway, there will be a new and improved TouchStream.

Good luck.

PostPosted: 12 Nov 2005, 22:02
by LuciferII
That is what I will do. The minor point, though, is that I live in Finland which puts me at a disadvantage, but I won't let it stop.
I was wondering that is this particular version (of which i posted pics) the older version of FingerWorks product line? I know where to purchase iGestures, unfortunately my financial situation has a tighter grip on me, but only for the moment.
I propably shouldn't but I'm now taking the easy way and so I ask: relating to a previous post, I seem to remember something about making two iGestures to work similarly to a TS, I wonder if anyone has gotten any answers in this field? I'm planning on such an investment so I could investigate the matter myself, but thats later...
in the meanwhile...frantic excploration--->


PostPosted: 12 Nov 2005, 23:00
by Rqyteqto
Frankly, I've never seen that version. It must be, as you suggest, a very early prototype. I note the one article is dated July of 2001.

The LCD overlay must be a reflective type without the backlight or perhaps its not even an LCD, that would seem an expensive investment to just accomplish the color change effect. Perhaps that is why it was abandoned. None of the most recent boards include such a feature.

As for living in Finland being a handicap, I don't see why. I live in Hawaii, the most isolated major population center in the world, which suffers even more so because of anachronistic laws governing shipping and trade. Nonetheless, I was able to obtain, at a relatively reasonable price, a TS from a fellow in Germany via EBay. I suppose it didn't get a lot of bids because it did not show up on the standard US EBay unless the user specificed Global or Worldwide in advanced settings.

Best of hunting, and best of luck.

PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 03:21
by drew
The images you have are to the best of my knowledge an early version of the full keyboard model called the stealth sometimes ST. This was later revised and replaced by the Touchstream LP (low profile). I am not sure the stealth was actually for sale. The hand print shown on the keyboard was part of the static decoration for the touch surface at the time. There were a few images of the stealth on the Fingerworks site and discussion on it in the forums.

PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 05:44
by Rqyteqto
No, the ST was the now standard TouchStream boards (two separate pads connected by a ribbon cable) but mounted on the aluminium 'tent' structure. The LP was just the ST without the tent frame. You could get it with or without and use whatever means to mount it. Then LP designation sort of exstrapolated from the term 'Portable' as it was more portable than the ST. As far as I know, the ST was just a designation, it had no meaning.

The board shown by Lucifer II is entirely different from anything I've ever seen. The latest boards are laminates of the basic touch surface, the sensor board, the circuit boards and a backing board. That shown looks like its a plastic casting into which the various elements have been installed.

PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 10:17
by LuciferII
one could also speculate it to be a rendered image of the planned "final product". Since it has the heat recoqnizing TFT or something I believe that is what gives it away.
I would like to send an e-mail to Elias and people @ FW concerning various issues, just haven't got my hands on an address yet...
Anyhow, all I can do is wonder why some(one) would want to extinguish a technology like this (if they bought it, why not continue the productions?), where the patent issues could have been worked out...(if that was the case).
I'm planning a whole different technology for multi-touch surfaces (just in my head for the moment) and from what i know perhaps the signalprocessing and -management could be 'transferred' from the FW TS, since they would be much similar. Since I don't have a TS, I was wondering if you could help me out: what exactly is the language they use in the actual (G)PU? Its related to TFT's, this is propably not going to work, but i'm figuring that out...


PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 15:19
by Rqyteqto
Not sure what you mean by the language in the ?PU. The programming language is XML, you might want to download the various files from the FingerWorks website and then take a look at the Wiki for the Manual that ivanw and Torben put up.


The theory of those being 'photoshopped'/rendered model images is a good one.

Your wonderment of what happened is matched by us all. The only drawbacks I can see to the technology are the initial capital cost and then the learning curve cost, both of which are/were substantial. There's really no theory yet proposed that answers all the questions, particularly the why not continue production and sales and why all the secrecy and, most of all, why hasn't something new come out. It was, after all, a fairly mature technology: there's really nothing way, way out there in either the electronics or the software. I guess you could say the biggest mystery of all is why all the mystery in the first place.

PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 16:31
by LuciferII
thanks for the link. next question: do you guys know how "plasmaballs" or "Magicballs", the ones with visible electron flows inside, work? i had an idea related to this: if the space inside the ball was reshaped and made flat and extremely tiny, so that the electron flow would be from a large field of transistors or somewhat similar, this way the pressure could be meaured by the largeness of the area of 'fleshtouch', and all the points could be measured at once. using the same kind of '(G)PU)' ((gesture)PU) that the touchstream uses, the same programming language could also be used, since data type is same or at least similar. follow?


PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 16:37
by LuciferII
addition: with this, the hand wouldn't have to thouch the surface of the glass or whatever material it is, but the electrostaticity would be enough to create a current between the "electron catcher" and the transistors...

Correction: yes the fonger would have to touch the surface to 'activate' the transistor.

PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 19:52
by LuciferII
Thought of telling something about myself, since I haven't done it yet.
I'm a student in the field of laboratory and technics. I read fysics and math just for 'fun'. I've worked minimally woth coding, mainly VB6, i'm planning on getting C and C++, why not others as well. My head has about Na (constant of Avogadro) of ideas, and I can't wait to get my own iGesture & mini and a TS. I really don't have a mentionable RSI of CTS, but thats coz i've looked on ergonomics from when I was 10. Now using Microsoft natural keyboard and Microsoft Trackball optical (yes up to now they have worked for me), but it could be better. I got interested in this type of Input device actually through a movie (Cube Zero) and lets just say that I just have to have one... :smiley:
well, rest assured i'm not here to play around, this technology is amazing, and i'm looking forward to developing it with You...


PostPosted: 13 Nov 2005, 22:52
by Rqyteqto
Is your question about 'plasma balls' rhetorical or are you seeking the answer?

I suppose it could be used as you suggest, but it would be more for show than anything else. The Fingerworks hardware works by measuring capacitance, not the flow of electrons, so it would be different in that respect. I am not sure what you would use to 'count' the flows or otherwise differentiate the flows so you could use it as a 'mouse' but I am certain something could be made to work, probably the biggest issue would be maintaining transparency so the plasma flows would still be the stars of the show, so to speak.

As for RSI, its not why I got into FW, rather the technology is just so absolutely cool. I got into computers via architecture and CAD, so my first 'mouse' was, in fact, a puck on a graphics tablet, which has so much more functionality than a mouse its simply not in the same league. When I subsequently ended up needing mobility and switched to notebooks, the graphics tablet was just too bulky and there were none that worked off of battery or USB (which hadn't yet become pervasive) so it was either learn to use a mouse or learn to use the builtin touchpad, I choose the latter and so have never used a mouse. Touchpads even then had some interesting though extremely limited gesturing capabilities. I would have gotten a TS years ago but for the pricetag. When I built my latest machine a bit over a year ago, I saved so much by building it myself I felt I could splurge and so bought my first TS. If I had known at the time they would cease operations less than a year hence, I would have really splurged and gotten a half dozen or more. Ah, the curse of 20/20 hindsight.

You best bet is to scan EBay (make sure you use Worldwide or Global in advanced settings) and Craigslists (again go for worldwide or global). Keep a watch on the Marketplace forum in here, I make a point of posting every Fingerworks listing I come across so at least people know about them. I am not currently in the market so I am not your competition. I urge everyone else to help out in this. I'd also say that everyone should please maintain a bit of sanity in all this. When the price gets too high, stop pushing it higher. You are doing all of us a disfavor. I know folks want these devices and in some cases will pay whatever, but when its obvious somebody is going to pay whatever, let them have it, another will come along and if they already have theirs, they are not as likely to bid on the next one, unless the prices get so high that speculators get into the act and they will push the prices higher and higher with the sky not being the limit.

Yeah, yeah, I know, its easier to say that when one already has theirs. But one thing is for sure, pushing the prices up helps no one but speculators.

PostPosted: 14 Nov 2005, 00:39
by TorbenGB
I've seen those FingerBoard images before -- in Danish IT magazines, a long time ago. I believe the FingerBoard really was a product that shipped, and most likely the very earliest version. There's probably no chance of getting one of them anymore; they must all be either defect, destroyed, or kept as very precious items. If you want a FingerWorks product, either get an iGesture "mousepad" or try to find a TouchStream LP "keyboard".

The FingerBoard surface had a gimmick that you all already know. Remember "mood rings" or "stress cards" that change color when you warm them with your body heat (touch of a finger)? It seems that the FingerBoard surface also had that, and then had the "keys" printed on top. Just a visual gimmick. This is not LCD or any other advanced display technology.

PostPosted: 14 Nov 2005, 00:42
by LuciferII
Perhaps I didn't explain myself well enough:
this apparatus would be as thin as paper perhaps
The electrons wouldn't have to show in any way, it would just be how the touch sensor works: There is a field of passive transistors, directly above it is a high carbon glass. It would be like an open cirquit and the touching of a finger to the glass would act as a switch. By default the transistors are 0 at any point of the field, when a finger 'grounds' or touches the glass the cirquit at those transistors would close. Thus the bigger the touching area the harder pressure from fingers.
The transistors wouldn't have to be: they could also be 'microdots' similar to a drawingpad point. Only there should then be a processor with a high capacity for input channels perhaps. This way it might seem exactly like a drawingpad, but the major difference is that all points could be measured at once which in the end wouldn't be necessary, but for instance 33% of the points would be randomly sweeped. Thats 3 sweeps to have sweeped all of the dots in a plane, but the processor could 'concentrate' on just those areas with a certain 'feather area' where there is a finger.
Problem comes in finding a processor to do this. Another way would be to lower the % of dots to sweep and increase sweep frequency.

For instance:
with 1000dpi
thats ~394 dpcm
overall area: 30cm*15cm ~ 11,8"*5,9"
thats 450square cm ~ 69.7square"
thats 69856200 or 69700000 points
~2328307.46 points 33,33%
thats not too much.

I was mainly thinkin that could the iGesture techs be integrated into drawingpads since they are somewhat similar...
i'm just waiting for 'mental input devices'..!