Tracker teleportaling

Written by on 15th February 2012 in Portals, Thoughts with Leave a comment

So I built the second touch table / light box thing yesterday and got my second box all readjusted (lights, cams). I also got the remote hub feed thing working so each box is listening for markers from the other box as well.

Unfortunately, once I add this tracker layer my computer basically explodes when I try to include the video feed from the other box. Everything just comes to a screeching halt. So the best I can do is not see the other person’s hand but I see the effect their objects have on the tracked things (like in this video above). Or vise versa. Just not both simultaneously. I think there’s just way too much stuff going on which makes my computer’s brain hurt:

Reactivision is doing real time tracking of the markers, which gets sent to OSCulator. Flash takes tracking data from OSCulator and the second box. Camtwist layers the live screen cap of the Flash app with Webcam #1A. Ustream broadcasts webcam #2A. Meanwhile Camtwist needs to take a second live screen cap of the live Ustream from the second box.

My head sort of hurts just thinking about it all together. The thing about hacking together things that weren’t meant to go together is that everything is sort of bulky and not exactly optimized for performance. Plus I’m doing some weird things that all those apps probably weren’t meant to do and pushing the limits of my computer’s video processor. I think I’m going to give it a try on the big towers in the lab area just to see if it’s even possible, but I really don’t want to have to use the towers for the project. Mainly because I don’t have my own so it makes development a lot harder. Plus they’re big and bulky, so it doesn’t exactly make it portable.

The other thing I’ve been considering is perhaps foregoing the live video feed from the other box. Which sounds like it defeats the whole purpose, but perhaps it’s actually more interesting/mysterious? Because if I can at least see the effect the other person’s having on the space I get the feeling of a co-presence. And perhaps then that’s what differentiates the here from the there. So two people could collaborate locally (via the two holes). And the input from the network appears as a sort of ghostly effect with the added element of live audio.I imagine voice chat wouldn’t explode my computer nearly as bad as the video stream does.

It’s just really frustrating because I feel like I’m SOOOO close to getting it to do what I want and I’m just being held back by the limitations of my computer’s thinking power. I don’t want to be stuck on the technical stuff for so long. I want to move on to the content generation part of things.


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