1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 24, 2008 5:22 AM by Mouseclick Multimedia

    Self Portrait Phot Kiosk

    RobHack
      Hi
      I have been requested to develope a "Photo Kiosk" that will allow the public to take a pic of them selves and submit it to a website, the user then sms's (Texts) via cell phone the reference number that is displayed on screen. No printing will be required as one of the perposes is to "drive" traffic to the website

      There are three section to this project;
      1. the touch screen kiosk
      2. the web server and related site
      3. the sms(Text) message sytem.

      I am only conserned with the kiosk for now, and would appreciate any suggestions or help. I am fairly familiar with Director having used it since version 4. There are however a few areas that I would like some suggestions.

      I intend using a touch screen on a PC with a USB webcam and a USB GSM modem (Cell device) to connect to the internet.

      Basic work flow would be;
      loop intro / explaination / invatation .... touch screen
      interface with "camera view" and a "Take picture" button...
      System takes 4 pics a few seconds apart...
      all four pics apear on screen .... select a picture to submit... or retake your picture... loop to previous screen
      selected pic displayed with message SMS (TEXT) this ###Unique number to 086 111 222 to enter the compitition
      thank you for entering our compitition to view your pic goto www.pics.co.za.

      That is a basic flow of the events.
      The questions that concern me are how to access and control the webcam and how to send the pic to the web server.

      A few other other admin type fuctions would be useful. i.e.
      reboot the unit remotely
      retrieve usage stats
      upload a patch.

      Any help and comments would be gratefully rerceived.
      Rob H, Durban, South Africa.
        • 1. Re: Self Portrait Phot Kiosk
          Mouseclick Multimedia
          Hi Rob,

          I actually made some kiosks that have the same functionallity, except for the sms part, since that's extremely expensive...

          To be able to capture the images from the webcam, I use the cXtraVideoCapture xtra from cXtra ( http://www.cxtra.net/). I have also used a Canon EOS 400D, but depending on where the kiosk is located, that may attract thieves...(The image quality is far better of course, but you cannot use this extra for it, either use dedicated hardware or go via the canon software in that case)
          I then use the DirectImage xtra from Directxtras ( http://www.directxtras.com/main.asp?UUID=2167775&) to adjust it's colors, crop it, resize it and save it as a jpg.

          To send sms messages, you'd use something like directSMSxtra from the same firm as mentioned above, but you need to pay for each sms you send! Depending on the location, and thus popularity, that could become expensive...

          Sending the pic to the webserver is again accomplished by an xtra from Directxtras: directFTPxtra. Instead of sending sms messages, I always send emails. You don't have to pay extra for each email you send! (again, same firm: directEmailxtra) You can completely personalize your email too! I'll send you an example in a few minutes, made with a kiosk that uses the Canon EOS and all off the above mentioned xtras.

          Now: rebooting the unit remotely. First off: why would you bother. It could be achieved, but you might as well reboot automatically at a given time, say, midnight or so. You could also use 'guarddogsoftware' as I like to call it. The guarddog software sits in the back, and sends a 'hearbeat' request to the main program every five minutes or so. If the main program does not respond for 3 consecutive times, it probably crashed, so you reboot the computer. I tried vainly to just reboot the main program, don't bother, if it really crashed, it probably won't react to a remote quit command either. If it crashed and shut itself of, then the guarddog software can restart it however. Just program a function that checks if the winhandle still exists of the main program. (budyapi xtra)

          Retrieving usage stats: just upload them to a website, you can have it in xml format, so you don't have to bother with a database, saves you the cost of an expensive database xtra! (use ftpxtra for the uploading)

          Uploading a patch: have the main program check on a website for a flag on startup. Is the flag active, then it knows it must download a patch from a known location, and reboot after that...

          Hope this helps,
          feel free to request more info if necessary!

          Johan Van Hoeydonck
          Belgium