Coder Girls: Project Demo

Naya Yatra Pvt Ltd. (naya) in collaboration with Women Development Society (WODES) provides training/internship opportunity for 20 selected girls through the 'Coder Girls Program' this year. The 3 month rigorous course on Javascript is as per WODES & Naya's commitment to inspire girls into computer programming.

On 24, 25 August 2015, participant girls from group 1 presented a demo of their final project. The project explored the possibility of creating an inexpensive interactive whiteboard which was initially developed by Johnny Chung Lee. Through this project, our coder girls worked on methods of turning any surface into a touchscreen that can control a PC! To elaborate on this idea, the girls also created a custom whiteboard application thus making it possible to write (or draw) on any surface. The application of this project ranges from creating an interactive classroom environment (turning an ordinary whiteboard into a digital surface) to complex position aware gaming experience.

The idea

A Wii remote contains a 1024x768 infrared camera with built-in hardware that can track up to 4 IR sources at 100Hz. The real-time 3D positional data of these IR sources acquired by the remote can then be transferred to a PC via Bluetooth. This information, after calibration, can be used to mimic a custom interactive whiteboard onto any surface.

The components

IR light Source (IR pen) A Wii Remote A PC (with a whiteboard app created by the group) Projector (Optional)

The IR Pen

Creating an IR pen is quite straightforward. An IR LED is connected to a power source (1.5V battery) via a switch (longer LED leg connects to the positive terminal of the battery). Pressing the switch completes the circuit thus turning the LED "on".[We cannot actually see the IR LED turning on because IR is just out of range of what a human eye can detect (…). To check if the IR is working, use a multimeter instead. ]

The whiteboard app

The whiteboard application was created using Paper.js. Paper.js is an open source vector graphics scripting framework that runs on top of the HTML5 Canvas. It offers a clean Scene Graph/Document Object Model and a lot of powerful functionality to create and work with vector graphics and bezier curves, all neatly wrapped up in a well designed, consistent and clean programming interface.[]

The process

The Wii remote is connected to the PC via a Bluetooth connection. Once the connection is established, a rectangular surface is calibrated. This surface can be just about anything, a traditional whiteboard, a paper or even an existing computer screen. Once calibrated, using IR pen within the bounds of this surface, controls the PC mouse drag movement. By turning the IR source on and off using the switch and moving it within the calibrated rectangular surface, we can essentially draw on the whiteboard app wirelessly (Bluetooth).

Further work on the project

The group will work towards integrating Hammer.js to add multi-touch functionality to the whiteboard app. Furthermore, using Node.js and they will explore the possibility of live-streaming the whiteboard app to multiple users.