Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wireless trackpad now open-source

I'm trying something new and opening up the source to one of my projects. The source code to my wireless trackpad project is now available on Google Code - http://code.google.com/p/ipod-trackpad/.

Be mindful of the license (GPL v2) and let me know if you do anything cool with the code! Feel free to submit ideas/code/patches to make it even better.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wireless Trackpad - iPod Touch Web App

As a bit of a break from all the work around here, I decided to work on a project I've wanted to try out for a while - turning an iPod into a trackpad (like the one on most laptops) for my computer. More specifically, a wireless trackpad so I can control the computer from across the room. While looking for an existing solution, I found an app for jailbroken iPods that seems to do exactly what I was looking for, but my iPod isn't jailbroken, so that was just teasing me. So, on Friday and Saturday in about 6-10 hours, I coded up a little proof of concept. This system only relies on the Safari web browser built into the ipod touch and some custom software on the computer.



Some technical details: The system uses an Apache webserver on the computer to serve the trackpad.htm file. That html page contains JavaScript that handles touches and movement on the iPod and sends that data via Ajax to the Java "backend" running on the computer. The Java backend interprets that data and converts it to mouse movements. I think it would be easier to set up and distribute if the Apache webserver wasn't necessary, so I may set up a very basic webserver in the backend to serve the single html page and accompanying javascript library for ajax.

Obviously a native iPod app would be nicer, but I'm not willing to pay $100 to develop on a closed platform just as a hobby. Donations are always welcome...