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Silverlight TV 19: Hidden Gems from MIX10, UFC's Multi-Touch App

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John ran into Silverlight MVP Ward Bell of IdeaBlade while at MIX10 (how could anyone miss him!). Ward was kind enough to sit and talk with John to show off the multi-touch application his company wrote for UFC using Silverlight. It uses multi-touch, Caliburn, MVVM, and, of course, Silverlight!

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  • First off, where do I even get a coat like that?  Second, thats an awesome application for two weeks of effort.  It is so pretty, it brings tears to my eyes....  I am curious why Ward chose an OOB Silverlight application for the Kiosk, and not a WPF solution.  I must assume that this Kiosk app is also available on the web for members as well.

  • Good video/app.  I would like to see a basic example on how to setup the basic transistions from different UI using the MVVM and how to navigate to/from each other like the one in demo.  Thanks.

  • ivan_ivan_ g

    Will apps compiled under .Net 3.5 sp1 and deployed on a machine with .Net 4.0, be able to use hardware acceleration automatically?

  • Brian - You can get the coat in the Haight in SF. Thanks for the nice comments about the app which is almost as pretty as I am.

     

    Why not WPF? It could have been WPF. We choose SL in part because it has low deployment requirements (no .NET on the box, for example) and because we wanted to see if we could be effective within the more constrained SL 4 APIs. We also had our eye on the phone.

     

    Is it available to members? Not yet ... if ever. Members have a SL app which they log into and can use for self-help services like managing their own class schedules. The kiosk is for casual interaction and deliberately constrains its time window to the current week. We hope the kiosk will encourage face-to-face member interaction ... a different experience than SL at home.

     

    That said, we like keeping options open ... another point in favor of an SL implementation over a WPF implementation.

     

    Not knocking WPF. I'd use WPF if something about the app demanded a desktop. But since all of our requirements could be met with SL 4, we thought it prudent to fit within its constraints.

     

    Shaggygi - We expect to re-purpose this example to a more general "conference session" example and open the code up for all to see. It's use of MVVM, Caliburn, and DevForce may inspire others.

     

    Ivan - I haven't a clue. Not even sure where to go for the answer. Try http://stackoverflow.com/.

  • Hello,

    I just wonder, how does the MULTI-touch work here, cause u were using just one finger all the time? Is it supported somehow at all?

    And how often do you have to touch something three times to make it work like at 6:24?

  • ivan_ivan_ g

    Thanks... I guess I will have to try it out my self. I thought because you mentioned that your app uses SL4's hardware acceleration you might know about it.

     

    How did you like Caliburn?

  • The swipe moves require TWO fingers ... to help distinguish from the drill in with one finger. Sometimes I moved too quickly and drilled in.

     

    Sometimes I was at an odd angle (at 6:24 I was standing above and to the right) which led me to miss the target area (I kept missing "All").  Sometimes it just seems sticky ... especially if you haven't touched the screen in awhile; darned if I know.  It doesn't seem to be specific to SL 4. I've had the same experience on every touch device I've ever tried. 

     

    One lesson is that you need sizeable target areas. If you have a touch screen at home (e.g., PDC laptop) you know what I mean when you try it with regular apps (e.g., the browser); fingers need big targets.

     

    We didn't want gratuitious multi-touch and we didn't want to explain multi-touch gestures to casual passers-by. So we have to piggy back on the average Joe's expectations. Right now there aren't a lot of multi-touch expectations. Pinching is becoming widely recognized ... and we'll bring that to the party when we have something we want to zoom (the videos for example). Meanwhile, we're keeping it simple and seeing what folks actually do when confronted with the kiosk.

     

    Caliburn has been great. Removes a lot of noise simply by wiring things up by convention; convention that I'd follow anyway just to keep my sanity.

     

    More later on GPU acceleration; I didn't work on that part myself.

     

     

     

     

  • I have same question. Do you like Caliburn?

     

    Valters

    Photologs

     

  • DanDan

    Microsoft must snatch up Ward as an evangelist.  It's not often you see someone incredibly smart and incredibly engaging all roled into one.

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