The weather is getting warm, again.

The week has also been a productive one. We have several demos being developed at the same time, which we are still focused on expanding the width of our exploration.

The first one I would like to introduce is a piano playing tutorial app. As we all know, from the day the touch screen has been invented, there have been a lot of piano tutorial apps been developed. However, one huge problem that has not been solved is that a normal touch screen cannot detect which finger the player is using. So it is impossible for a piano tutoring app to know whether a player is using the right fingering skill or not. But with the help of the Tap device, the whole story is different now. We can let the app sense which finger is being used on the screen so that the tutorial is much more usable. And this is our working demo in which you have to use the right finger on the right key or the key will not be triggered.

We also have a demo focusing on demonstrate the possibility of using the same technique for games. We now have a working tech demo that the screen can be split into two parts. In each part, there is a path moving. The direction of the moving in the two parts is the opposite. And the player needs to use two Taps on each hand to dye the path on each side.

Another thing we are working on is to dive a little bit further into the realm of party games. So we have been developing another party game in which the players need to control the balance of a bike and move forward. At first glance the game seems to be simple to make, however, it is actually pretty hard to fine tune the control of the game. We have tried several different control modes:

  1. Use the mouse to control direction, use tapping to accelerate.
    1. Doesn’t work. The sensitiveness of the mouse is too bad which cannot be really used for game control.
  2. Use middle finger tapping as acceleration and index/ring finger for balance.
    1. Worked, but a little bit difficult.
    2. The position is a little bit too wired.
  3. Use index and middle fingers for balance, but they can also provide acceleration.
    1. This is the final decision for control.

So the user actually just need to worry about the balance of the bicycle instead of the acceleration at the same time.

One more interesting thing we are working on is trying to integrate the Tap device with CAVE. The goal is to explore what we can do to create an emotional experience with the Tap. It is an interactive art installation where the guest can gain an immersive experience and communicate with the virtual world by tapping fingers. The result looking amazing.

Besides all these, other things we are working on are trying to find out whether the Tap can be used as a stand-alone product. There are two things currently we are working on. First one is a multiplayer orchestral performance that consists of one conductor and five instruments, each paired with one Tap. The conductor controls switches to each instrument allowing the performers to play the instrument or not. The performers play their mapped instruments (mainly percussion instruments and keys) according to the directions of the conductor. Another one is an adventure game based on voice. It is a series of text-based adventure experience. The story is delivered using audio/sound and the player can control characters and influence the environment via Tap. We are still working on the game now, we will have working demos for these two by the end of next week, hopefully.

Also, it is asked in Drew’s email for this week about how are we doing conflict meditation and how can the team best work together solve problems. And the fact is in our team, we haven’t really had any serious conflicts yet. Everyone is really friendly and helpful to each other. Huge thanks to all the team members!