In order to get all groups off to a fast start, each group will be assigned a project to work on from the following list. One the first day of class, the project ideas will be presented, and then students will submitted a preference list of projects to work on. The instructors will then put together teams and assign a project to each team.
Below is a list of project ideas - I suspect that the teams will be assigned distinct projects, but if there is overwhelming interest in some projects, there is the possibility of assigning the same project to different groups. Each of the projects offers considerable scope for independent work. There is significant variety in the projects: in the domain, tablet technologies that will be emphasized, and key directions of work - e.g., some will have more of an emphasis on research, and others will have more of an emphasis on understanding the user and the domain.
There is a lot of flexibility in how these projects can be approached - the project ideas are not a specification - just a starting point. Remember, the goal of the class is to demonstrate a prototype of an innovative Tablet PC application at the end of the course. It is essential that each team concentrates on technologies associated with the Tablet PC - as opposed to building a generic windows application.
I have created a page or two of hand written notes for each project. These notes are viewable with Windows Journal Viewer.
- Handwriting generation This is the opposite of handwriting recognition: develop a system to convert text to an
individual's handwriting. The system would have a training phase, where the user entered handwriting on a Tablet PC, and then this writing would be analyzed to create a profile to allow converting the text to the users handwriting. The idea would be to support the user's natural handwriting - the case where the user writes with cursive is more challenging (and more interesting) than the printing case. The handwriting should be generated as a Tablet PC ink object. The writing should include pressure, as well as position. (Journal Notes)
- Playmaker The idea for Play Maker is to use sketches to specify motion, and then either animate the motion or use this as control information. A standard example of a this is is when a coach specifies a play for a team with a diagram of X's and O's and then draws lines for individual paths. One possible application of this would be as input for a sport's game or some form of RTS game. (Note - this project would require some careful scoping to make sure that it retains a focus on the tablet and pen computing, as opposed to general game play). (Journal Notes)
- Handwritten lecture slides Develop a system to support development of lectures slides with a pen. The lecture
slides need not be converted to Powerpoint, but could be kept in an ink format suitable for a system such as Classroom Presenter. (Journal Notes)
- Stupid pen tricks Develop a pen based Tablet PC game, based on custom writing. The real time stylus allows custom ink with many different effects. This could be used, for example to create an ink which erases as it is drawn, so that the pen must keep ahead of the chasing eraser, or a pen tip that varies in size, or behaves in strange ways in response to pressure. (Journal Notes)
- Sudoku Pen based Sudoku - (a highly addictive number puzzle) - this project should look at 'playability' issues with pen and ink (as opposed to just generating a game, and recognizing digits as they are written). There are many websites for Sudoku, e.g., websudoku.com. (Journal Notes)
- Free form handwritten note analysis Develop a tool to support working with hand written notes. Note taking is a killer app for the Tablet - but to get full value from digital ink, better tools are needed to support working notes - such as classifying content, and searching. This project could either emphasize search and classification of an archive of notes, or develop an pen based tool for post processing and cleanup of notes. I have a year's worth of Window's journal notes which can be used as a data set. (Journal Notes)
- Ink Replay with editing Develop a simple presentation system with ink replay. The interesting part would be to develop
and editing facility, which allows various cleanup or correction operations. (Journal Notes)
- Brainstorming tool Pen and paper are ideal to support brain storming. This could be enhanced on a tablet PC with a note taking environment that facilitated creating hierachical notes and manipulating "chunks" of ink. The goal would be to develop a system that allowed free form brainstorming, but added value by supporting some type of structure. This could target activities such as working on problem sets. (Journal Notes)