SynergyNet 3

This year we (the TEL research group at Durham University) have been working on developing a more stable version of SynergyNet, our multi-touch software framework.  Named SynergyNet 3, this framework is much better than previous versions, both in terms of performance and stability.

The new framework also offers some new features in addition to previous favourites.  Many of these features are based on my previous SynergyNet for Early Years project, such as the ability to store student information in a database and use this information to create personalised menus and content.  Most of the features from SynergyNet for Early Years which weren’t specific to a particular application were moved into the SynergyNet framework so that any application built using SynergyNet 3 can utilise them.

I’ve made several improvements to the student controls since the last video demoing the SynergyNet for Early Years features.  The most apparent of these is the simplification of the controls.  Instead of using a number of buttons for adding content and feedback which can be confusing to users, especially younger students, simple drag and drop gestures can be used instead.  Drag and drop is a very intuitive action and simple to execute on a touch screen interface in comparison to identify how to use a range of different icon-based controls.

Network flick, a popular feature of SynergyNet 2.5, has until recently been missing from SynergyNet 3.  Now the network flick is present in the framework and can be enabled/disabled through use of the web controls.  The flick behavior is now much less erratic than its previous implementations and instead of requiring content to be local on all machines the framework can now cache any item content being sent allowing newly imported media, such as images from a USB drive, to be flicked across to remote interfaces.

Check out the SynergyNet blog if you want more information on this work.

If you’re interested in developing with SynergyNet 3 read this post.

Sorry there’s been so few updates recently.  I’m now working full time in an academic research position and although this means I am doing a lot more interesting work I’m still not posting many updates.  This is because I’m wary of posting anything up until all the work relating to it is done.  To make up for it I’ll try to post shorter, less-significant posts more often in the next year.


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