Assembly and Getting Started

Welcome to your new Playsurface! 

The most up-to-date assembly instructions for all Playsurface kits delivered by mail can be found as a PDF here.

If you bought a Playsurface with a computer from FTL Labs Corporation, then everything you need is ready to go. You should only need to turn on the computer and the Playsurface Launcher will show all your apps and even turn on the projector for you.  If you want to add apps, either plug in a data stick with a "Multitouch Apps" folder (see the downloads section), or you can quit the launcher and find the multitouch apps folder right on the desktop and add them there.  Just relaunch the Playsurface Launcher or restart the machine and  you are back to a mouse-free touch experience.

If you did not get a computer from us, or you system pre-dates the Playsurface Launcher, you might have to do a little setup.  Get the Playsurface Launcher from Downloads, and proceed with the following:

Software setup requires several steps. We have been developing on Windows so that is our area of particular expertise and we apologize right off the bat for less knowledge of Mac and Linux systems. If you find errors or missing pieces in any of these instructions please contact us about it. We'd really appreciate it. You could save many other people some headaches.

Windows

Software setup is most easily accomplished with a two-monitor setup: one of your computer's video outputs goes to a monitor and the other goes to the projector inside the Playsurface.  The computer should be set to "mirror" or "duplicate" the displays so you see the same thing on both. 

The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Install CL-Eye driver from this Code Laboratories web site or from our Downloads page. In the bottom right click on the "Download CL Eye Driver" green button. 
    The follow the installation instructions.

  2. Run  CL-Eye Test application that step #1 should have installed. This will let you test to make sure the PS Eye camera inside the Playsurface is working and help you calibrate the system.
    The application will give you a single window showing the camera's view. 
    Plug in the IR light strip inside the Playsurface to a 120V AC outlet.
    If everything is working, you should see the illumination of the IR lights in the CL-Eye test application.
    To calibrate, physically move the PS Eye camera in its swivel mount until as much of the Playsurface screen is as visible as possible and centered.
    Once this is done you can quit the CL-Eye application.

  3. Download and install the Playsurface Launcher application from the downloads page.  The launcher includes Big Blobby to handle the touch events and all the games you will want to get started!

  4. Launch the Playsurface Launcher and try the Big Blobby button (it looks like five circles where fingers might be).  Check to see if you are getting good blobs on the screens in Big Blobby.  First try to remove background when there are no fingers on the table.  Then you might want to adjust the settings for threshold and amplify to ensure good blobs corresponding to finger touches.

    If the touches are too far off, you might want to run Big Blobby directly from the Playsurface Launcher folder, rather than trying to launch it from inside the Launcher.  To do this just open the Launcher Folder and explore down the folders until you reach the Big Blobby folder and find the .exe file there.

  5. Calibrate Big Blobby
    Once filter settings are providing reasonably good touch events, you need to calibrate the screen in terms of position. This requires that your projector positioning is final. That is, make sure the projector is centered both horizontally and vertically.

    Hit the button in Big Blobby that brings you to calibration and follow the instructions.  For best results, use a dime taped to a pencil rather than your fingers to calibrate, as this gives a much more uniform blob size. 

  6. Just after calibration is complete you should be able to touch the Playsurface and see glowing "plus" marks appear under your touches. If they are not at the correct locations, review the tutorial above and try again.

  7. Hit "x" to return to the Big Blobby main screen and then hit the Big Blobby button in the Launcher to minimize Big Blobby.  Important - don't close Big Blobby with the window "x" in the top left corner, as that will end the application and your touches won't be sensed!

    Next try the "Playsurface Touch" application to make sure you are getting touches sensed and correctly placed.  A spinning flower should appear under each finger!

  8. Next...if you've gotten this far successfully...hooray! Now have a little fun, use the Launcher button to run the Zap Slap! digital whack-a-mole-type game.

Let us know if you find anything completely off in these instructions and we'll work to improve them over time.

Thanks for Playsurfacing!