Metis a Tangible User Interface created by NUME Group and presented at the last Festival of Science in Genova – Workshop “Orizzonti Sonori”. The Metis has been realised with the purpose to offer a new interactive educational tool to the community.
After 3 years from its presentation, under the supervision of Michelangelo Lupone, Balandino decided to address his thesis to the development of a graphical interface and an audio processing toolkit designed for Metis, in order to bring on stage the live electronics performance Il sogno nel sogno.
The long work conducted by Balandino, can be summarised in three steps: understanding the Metis, development of the dedicated GUI and audio toolkit to perform Il Sogno nel Sogno and at the end the performance itself.
Understanding the Metis.
The hardware of the METIS is composed of a metal table with a plexiglass square as top, which is the tangible surface. Under that, is allocated an infra-red camera, which job is to send the information concerning the physical interaction with the Metis to a computer. This last one, after achieved all data, will elaborate the GUI which is projected to the plexiglas by a projector. In addition, a mirror has been added in order to project the GUI over the whole tangible surface. From the software point of view, the Metis is built upon three layers. The first layer is formed by reacTIVision, a computer vision framework for object tracking and basic multi-touch, which is responsible for the calibration and real-time video tracking process. Furthermore, using the TUIO protocol, reacTIVision is able to send all interactions data to third applications.
Secondly, a Java application developed using Processing generates the GUI, which able the user to interact with the Metis. When an interaction is detected, the GUI is subjected to real-time graphical elaborations.
In addition, the Java application developed to generate the GUI is also a data bridge between reacTIVision and Max/MSP using the OSC Protocol.
Finally, a Max/MSP patch is responsible for the audio signal processing, driven trough interaction with the Metis.