iPod, Zunes, and other MP3 are just part of our lives these days, are they fun? Well, if you like to listen to music, but that is kind of standard these days.  XBox, PSP and wii are in many homes, and provide feedback of sorts.  But wouldn't it be fun to be able to exchange not only the visible, but also touch?  Take a look at:

http://research.microsoft.com/sds/TouchTalk.aspx

 

Although we can poke from Facebook or nudge from IM, the idea of sensor touch goes beyond these approaches.  How would you get involved? 

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Read this article and then if you are a student, you should have access to DreamSpark for no-cost, IF YOU ARE A STUDENT.  Download Expression and work with the Expression Design tool.  You can create interesting looking devices that you could use to create a simple prototype.  Download the Expressions Studio, or download the free demo:

Dreamspark: https://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/Default.aspx

Expression Studio: http://www.microsoft.com/expression/default.aspx

Then make a cardboard model of your idea, it might look like a mouse like the picture shown here or it could like something else.  You might want to experiment with the shape, so you could add the mechanism from the XBox controller, you can get controllers on the web for a very low price.   If you are using Windows XP get a wired controller not the wireless one, and since this exercise will be taking the controller apart, get one of the "Barbi" controllers, they are cheap and who cares what they look like.

Download the Visual Studio C# Express 2008 (free) from:

http://www.microsoft.com/express/download/ (you will need to scroll down a little, you can select the language you want to use)

Then download the XNA Express product (you need this to easily program the XBox controller):

http://creators.xna.com/

 

Over the next few days, lets take a look at doing personal research in doing sensor touch, or not, I have no idea if this will come together, if you think that everything has to work at the end of a discussion cycle, you may want to head over to Clint Rutkas' blog/website.   See Clint's facebook page at:

Maybe we will just end up going over to http://blogs.msdn.com/dawate, he has some very nice stuff on XNA Programming.  Dan is also a very funny person.  Dangerously funny.

 

Also, do me a favor, check out some of the other pages on my blog.  I think they are pretty good, but leave a few comments and let me know. :)