I am a GSoC enthusiast hoping to build a multi-touch user-interface in the Computer Aided Design systems of which BRL CAD is a leader in Open Source world.
Multi-touch denotes a set of interaction techniques which allow
computer users to control graphical applications with several fingers.
The multi-touch technology is in a development stage and offers immense
opportunities - both technical and economical. It will help in putting
computers to a variety of new applications and open up new kinds of avenues.
I feel that Multi-touch has started to show that it will be the next-big-thing in the field of User Interface.
In this regard I feel that we can have a headway start in developing multi-touch capabilities in CAD softwares.
I do feel that Multi-Touch(MT) stuff is still in infancy stage but it has started to show its effect through the phenomenal success of IPhone and various big-shot companies are puring in huge money to develop in-house multi-touch software. Hence I would like to propose to start with the development of MT based user interface for CAD systems in open source.
It is much more intuitive and friendly way for an architect or a designer to develop and show models with his both hands by directly touching the models instead of using the mouse as a pointer device which is more abstract.
In the first phase I would like to develop aaplication and libraries to help in interacting with the already build models in an interactive way on a multi-touch device.
In the second phase, I will work on how to develop a User Interface so that a designer can very easily develop models as well as has a commandline running at the same time to give fast inputs. I agree to the fact that currently it is much more covinient and faster to develop a model with commandline. It will start with taking inspirations from Google's Sketchup but will be much more intuitive and easy to use and I hope will become much different than that.
I am very much hopeful that intelligent multi-touch surfaces will replace all kinds of desktops and laptops that we see as shown very much in hollywood movies and to some extent in high profiles labs and military installations. [ commandline will however exist too :) ] I have been working with MT stuff for over one-and-half years and have developed one of my own FTIR based setup ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp8SpXfChkY ) and currently developing a laser based planar MT surface. On the software side I have also build a simulator ( QMTSIM ) for fast and efficient development of Multi-Touch software even if you dont own a MT surface. The project has been highly popular and is available for both windows and Lniux. This project was my GSoC project last summer which I successfully completed under the mentorship of NuiGroup (Pawel Solyga).
I have a working knowledge experince with MGED and Archer and have already started looking into the code base and the libraries of BRL-CAD.
I am looking forward for a positive reply from your side and I feel that you will make me conversant about my prospects for this project under your guidance. I am hoping to make a full proposal with a time line and the deliverables and start working if you think that this could be a viable GSoC project.
Waiting for your comments and suggestions eagerly !!
Ashish Kumar Rai
Electronics Engineering Department,