WPF Touch/Surface/Kiosk App for TechEd New Zealand
Something new I’ve been working on since early last week (a WPF based Touch/Surface App) – was shown off at TechEd New Zealand over the past couple of days. Although I couldn’t attend in person – Jay Templeton from Mabode (the company this work was performed for) - was on a stand setup in the foyer – with lots of Media Center and Plasma goodness – and has been demonstrating the new app to those passing by.
Apparently TechEd New Zealand is the second biggest TechEd in the world outside the US – with a staggering 3000+ attendees (which is pretty amazing given the small population of NZ) – so a lot of people got to check this stuff out.
The app itself is a written in WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) – and is a cross between a Contact/Business/Media Directory and an online collaboration tool – and designed specifically to run on a whopping big plasma screen (1366×768) with special touch technology provided by Next Window. (I’m sure we officially called it something – but can’t remember what exactly – so will just call it ‘Conference Touch’).
Anyhow I thought It might be of interest to post some screenshots of it running –
Due to some of the hype surrounding Surface and iPhone – we thought it would be fun to take the app beyond being a basic touch screen kiosk – and make it do some of the neat tricks you see on the abovementioned technologies. (things like ability to slide/pull lists etc across the screen with hand motions etc).
In this screen below (the generic browsing screen) – you can pull the list left and right – and depending on how fast the pull motion was and what distance was covered – the list will slide to particular spots (or the start/end of the list).
Some other surface/touch like bits are the ability to pull down dropdown lists (so you quickly filter your data) – and also the A-Z slider down the bottom (which instantly takes you to a point in the results set based on where you touch it).
You can also drill down on records by double tapping a tile (note that these screenshots are from my own version running on my dev machine – so profile pictures etc are not loaded on – and were added dynamically during TechEd. This was made quite easy due to the great XML Data binding/filtering features in WPF )
Once you are looking at the details records above (which might be a contact, a business, a web video or even a scheduled meeting/video-conference) – you can then perform other functions (such as video chatting , scheduling a meeting and viewing a video).
Since it was a prototype as well – a number of ‘dummy’ features/screens were added to show off what would be possible (well actually the videoconferencing was one of these).
For example the login screen has ‘fudged’ fingerprinting recognition for the sign-in. (no we didn’t actually have a fingerprint reader connected – although would have been easy to implement if available).
I hear the app was well received – and maybe might show up at some other TechEd’s in the future.
I’m currently trying to get hold of a better action shot – of the app running on the stand/plasma (such as someone ‘mid-pull’ on a surface maneuver) – so will add these if I track it down (the above picture of Jay was pilfered from Darryl Burling’s blog.)