This post features another component of the Beckon Usability Framework – the Beckon C# Extension. This is a .Net C# API that is easier to use, yet more powerful than the Beckon SDK. If you’re a .Net developer, this is your Beckon tool of choice. It’s free and can be downloaded today from the downloads section on our support site.
The C# Extension hides low-level details and allows you to perform complex management functions with minimal code. The bottom-line result is shorter, more readable code, flexible application control, and faster development.
Here are some examples of high-level management features in the Beckon C# Extension:
- Player Selection Strategy – and by “player” we mean any person identified as controlling your Natural User Interface application. The C# Extension allows you to configure the automatic strategy that determines how “players” are selected. This could be according to people’s distance from the sensor, whether people control application pointers, or whether people perform a certain trigger gesture.
- Pointer Management – the C# Extension provides convenient classes for mapping people’s hands to pointers that control your application. You can also determine the number of pointers, and set the strategy for choosing the player or players who control pointers.
- Monitoring Person Location – the C# Extension lets you monitor the location of your players according to areas that you define on the “playground”. See an example in this picture. You can determine the green area as the desired location for person tracking, and produce a warning if a person enters the red area or beyond.
But sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference. Here are a couple of examples of C# Extension features that will shorten your code and your debug cycles:
- C# Events – instead of adding code to poll for alert and gesture events, the C# Extension supports registering C# Event objects for handling events via callback.
- Central Configuration – the C# Extension provides a central configuration object where you can configure all Beckon session parameters. You can also read configuration from an external text file, so you can reconfigure your session without recompiling your code.
We hope you’re convinced! If you’re developing a .Net application, the easiest way to access Beckon functionality is by using the Beckon C# Extension.
During the course of the summer, we’ve been avoiding the heat outside and instead have been busy working on preparing the final version of our Beckon 3.0 Windows Edition. After incorporating your feedback, fixing bugs, and completing testing, we are excited to get this out to developers. As before, the SDK is available as a free, non-commercial download from our website. Or, if you would like to purchase a commercial license, simply send us an email for pricing details.
What’s new in this release? Well, read on to find out. . .
We strongly recommend downloading and working with this updated version of our SDK as it offers a more robust, stable environment and addresses a number of known issues. Highlighted below are upgraded features:
- Improved Tracking. You will experience better tracking, with better handling of hands and the ability to navigate through menus with greater ease.
- Flash Wrapper. The Flash wrapper is now available as a stand-alone download, separate from the SDK. The source code is available along with two samples to make development in Flash that much easier. Also, the wrapper is backwards compatible with older versions of Beckon. The Flash wrapper isn’t part of the Beckon SDK package but you can download it from the Omek developer support site.
- Lower CPU Consumption. This one’s pretty self-explanatory, no?
- Simpler, Easy-to-use Installer. Camera drivers for the most popular cameras are now built into the installer, allowing you to start working with any of the supported cameras straight out of the box.
And if you haven’t tried Beckon 3.0 yet, here are a few additional improvements you will find with this latest version:
- New Tracking Viewer. We completely overhauled our tracking viewer to create a more streamlined and simplified interface, making coding that much easier
- Added Samples. Check out the Downloads section on Omek’s developer support site to find additional samples to get you started with your application or game.
- Quick Launch. Quickly access documentation, tracking viewer, samples, or support.
- Updated Documentation. Are you noticing a trend here? We are reorienting the Omek experience to be one that is easy for you to use and work with. In that spirit, we’ve updated the documentation to reflect the changes we have made and to make working with our tools easier.
Nothing in life is perfect so let us know your feedback on what you like best and what needs additional work on our end. You can leave your comments below or if you have questions that others can benefit from, please post them in our Forums section.