Blast from My Past, How Meteor's Helped Me Understand Touch Sensors

After getting my Star Trek on while reading about writing code for the sensors on the Intel® Ultrabook at, I was pleased to see that Adrian Atkison had submitted an article titled, “Meteor Madness.” The game is reminiscent of way too many hours I spent on an Atari* avoiding and destroying astrological objects that can be found just outside Mars in our solar system. One of Mr. Atkison’s innovations is allowing both touch and classic keyboard control simultaneously during game play.  Since I have a historical feel for the game I found the explanations in this article particularly helpful in getting my new-to-sensors head around what one can do when going from traditional input devices to a touch input. Well done Adrian, I’m going to go blow up some space rocks.

Meteor Madness Article –

Gameplay Demo on Youtube – 

‘Roid Rage Game on Windows 8 Store –


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Running Out of Gas? Intel Ultrabook Sensors to the Rescue!

As I begin my 3rd article on what I’ve learned from about development for Intel® Ultrabooks™ on, I feel I need to bring the subject closer to earth. I am so glad Dr. A. Bell submitted his article to the site called, “Road and Driving Pattern Analyzer using Ultrabook™.” I drive about 15,000 miles per year for commuting and vacations, some years more. One such vacation was a 6 week journey through the southwestern United States with my wife and dog.  Now if you’ve ever watched Roadrunner* cartoons you have a good idea where we were. We saw so many beautiful vistas and learned a little as well.  There are phenomenal landscapes and fascinating pre-history, but there’s also a lot of time on the road looking at different shades of dirt.  For me, I spend a fair amount of the time playing with various calculations in my head like trip miles per hour including gas/potty/food stops or more importantly, is there enough gas in the tank to get to the next fueling station (a real concern when crossing Death Valley for instance).  Too bad I didn’t have a device and application that approaches what Dr. Bell’s analyzer does, I’d have never got bored.  Check out the references at the bottom of the article – they really help explain the possibilities of combining generally available information systems like web maps with Intel Ultrabook sensor specific data to create compelling and often even useful applications.  Oh well, now that I read about connecting the app to Microsoft* Bing* and my own Intel Ultrabook’s GPS we just may have to bring the kids along on the next trek.

Google* Maps Image of Our Route

Road and Driving Pattern Analyzer using Ultrabook™ –

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Stunned by Sensors – Starting my Ultrabook Training

As an avid fan of all things Star Trek*, I can’t help but hear Mr. Spock’s voice when I read about all these sensors we have watching and helping us in our lives today. Unfortunately as a developer, I usually feel like the guy in the red shirt on the away party when Spock says, “Sir, sensors indicate we are clear to send Mr. Duncan into the cave”. The cave in which I am then killed by the monster that extracts all the salt from my body. The real nightmare is that I’m the guy responsible for the monster detection code. Suffice it to say I have a lot of work to do if I’m going to save myself from this nightmare. to the rescue. This site has held developer contests for the Intel® Ultrabook™ specific development. The Windows 8* & Ultrabook App Innovation Contest (link) challenged developers to create a touch-aware app that included “just go crazy with the sensors” in the list of acceptable entry criteria. I need to know more about these sensors and I’ve been told I’m crazy, so I’m checking these articles out.  I’ve started with Adam David Hill’s submission called, “Celerity: Sensory Overload” (link).  Mr. Hill not only created a rather compelling and functional game (YouTube* demo ), but he does a good job describing some of the challenges he faced in getting things working like head tracking with just a webcam.

For me, I’m going to keep reading and start implementing my own code as soon as my Ultrabook arrives.  I do hope I can get my sensor education complete before the Captain sends me to the planet’s surface.

Code Project Ultrabook page –
Windows 8* & Ultrabook App Innovation Contest –
Celerity: Sensory Overload Submission –
Celerity Demo on YouTube –

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