Code-free iPhone interaction prototype

June 17th, 2010

TouchOSC screenshotHave you ever found yourself wanting to prototype a simple, realtime interaction between an iPhone and another piece of hardware, but don’t have time to learn iPhone programming? TouchOSC provides a simple solution to this challenge. An iPhone app that communicates over wifi using Open Sound Control, TouchOSC allows you to control any kind of application that accepts OSC messages.

TouchOSC also includes a companion layout editor. This free desktop application allows you to define custom screen layouts of UI elements and then upload them to your iPhone. Unfortunately there are only a limited number of UI widgets, and because the software was designed to control realtime sound apps, they naturally tend toward realtime control- knobs, faders and toggles as opposed to forms, dropdowns and checkboxes of more rich interfaces. Still, if all you need is a few buttons and a slider to control an interactive system and you aren’t able to develop a native iPhone app, TouchOSC offers some enticing potential. See below the jump for some examples of unexpected uses.

This guy uses TouchOSC to control a robot!

You can even access the iPhone’s accelerometer and send that data over OSC (warning:video has loud sound).

osc, processing and an iphone accelerometer from codingnature on Vimeo.

If you’re using Flash, I recommend flosc for parsing and sending/receiving messages. There are many resources out the for using OSC with Python, Processing and a variety of software packages. So build you UI, teach your software prototype to speak OSC and you’re set!

TouchOSC homepage
TouchOSC @ iTunes Store

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