Let’s turn that floor (or table) interactive !— Part Two

In our previous blog, we had shared with you some vital points to check before attempting to create an interactive floor, and now in this blog we are going to walk you through the process of setting it up!

But, just as we have our equipment ready and feeling excited to start experimenting, it suddenly dawned on us that we do not have the appropriate space to set it up! The only space that is available to us is a 8ft x 6.3ft x 10ft corner of the office. And that space is EMPTY. No ceiling mount for mounting the projector or the Sensor Cam, no table for putting our laptop… and adding on to the problem, the floor is laid with wood flooring! Arghhh…

An empty space is all we have!

Tip 1: Stay calm and think.

Ok, think. Let’s think. Hmm, wood flooring, shouldn’t be a big problem. We can place the 70” Projection Screen over the wood flooring and use it as our projection surface. This will ensure that we can have a good projected image, as well as accuracy for the Interactive Pen.

Placing the Projection Screen over the wood flooring

Tip 2: Try using the IPEVO 70” Projection Screen, or tape a big sheet of white paper onto the floor if your floor surface happens to be too reflective, fanciful or having contrasting colors as these will greatly affect the accuracy of IW2 and the visibility of your projected image.

The next problem to solve: how and where to mount the projector? With absolutely nothing on the ceiling to mount the projector, we have to come up with an alternative. That’s when someone in the team suggested using the tripod that has been left lying around in the meeting room to mount the projector. There we go grabbing that tripod. And much to our delight, our projector comes with a tripod mount that allows it to be easily attached to the tripod! But we have another concern: Is it safe to mount the projector this way? Can the tripod withstand the weight of the projector and not topple? Well, we did some trial and error and luckily for us, it turned out all well. The tripod can hold our projector’s weight even when it’s fully extended to 4ft above the ground. So, we decided to stay with this setup.

Oh, once again, do make sure that your projector can point straight down before attempting to set it up this way.

Hurray! The tripod can hold the weight of our projector!

Tip 3: Check whether your tripod can hold the weight of your projector. Add some counterweights if necessary.

Tip 4: Check whether your projector can point straight down.

So now, we’ve got the projector and the projection surface set up, next on the list will be mounting IW2’s Sensor Cam. Depending on the projected area, the Sensor Cam needs to be placed at various distances to ensure its proper operation. Hence, in order to gauge the minimal distance to place it, we’ll need to know the actual size of our projected area. We switched on our projector (mounted 4ft above the ground) and measured the actual projected area. 50’’ is the number we got. After some rough estimations, we figured that we need to place the Sensor Cam at least 7ft away from the screen, yet this poses another challenge for us. There is NOWHERE we can mount the Sensor Cam! And we do not have any tripod that can extend up to 7ft!

The Sensor Cam attached and adjusted

Just as we are giving up, a random beam running across the office up above our heads caught our sight. A quick glance estimated it to be at least 8ft high. The IW2 comes with a ceiling mount. And when we put these together, voila! We have the answer! Without any hesitation, we attached the Sensor Cam to the beam using the included ceiling mount. We adjusted its position too, as it needs to be facing directly at the projection screen, and pointing towards the center of the screen.

Tip 5: Do not give up hope.

Tip 6: Check the size of your actual projected area to determine the minimal distance required to place the Sensor Cam.

Tip 7: Adjust the Sensor Cam to face directly at the projection screen and pointing towards the center of the screen.

However, there’s another problem. We need a power source for the Sensor Cam, but we do not have an outlet running 8ft high in the air. We could have drawn the power from the USB port of the projector, yet it’s a double whammy as our projector does not have a USB port. As such, we looked to the USB port of our laptop to provide the power required. An USB extension cable is required too, as the included 11.8ft (3.6m) Micro-USB cable is not long enough.

USB extension cable in work

Do note that we are using the normal USB extension cable and not those with active repeater, as this only involves the transmission of electric power. On the other hand, if you are using the IS-01, you’ll need an active USB extension cable as it involves both the transmission of data and electric power.

Tip 8: The Sensor Cam needs a power supply. You can draw the power from the USB port of your projector.

Tip 9: Normal USB extension cable works for IW2 but not IS-01. You’ll need the active USB extension cable instead.

All set and done

As we pressed on with our perseverance, we have all the challenges conquered. The rest are pretty easy job. Finding a table to put our laptop, connecting the projector to the laptop, plugging in IW2’s Wireless Receiver to the computer’s USB port, switching on the projector and laptop…

An aerial view of our setup

Tip 10: Perseverance wins the race.

Well perhaps there’s just one more adjustment needed if your projector is not set perfectly perpendicular to the screen and causing the resulting projected image to be trapezoidal in shape. Adjustments can be easily done with your projector’s keystone correction function. And when all these are done, we are left with one final step — calibration.

The calibration process for the IW2 (and IS-01) is pretty easy and straightfoward, and it only takes a couple of steps. Turn on the Interactive Pen, plug in the Wireless Receiver, turn on the Sensor Cam, run the calibration program, follow the steps onscreen, and you’ll be done in a few minutes. But do note that re-calibration is needed if you accidentally moved the projector or Sensor Cam along the way. And now start enjoying the fun of an interactive floor just as we did!

Tip 11: Re-calibration is needed if the projector or Sensor Cam has been moved.