Posted by hobbes006 in SWF Studio V3 on Jan 25 2008, 03:41 pm

Hi there,

My team has just completed a good application with SWF Studio. The process was extremely interesting and the support we can get from this Forum is absolutely unrivalled and outstanding.

I am considering another project but I am not sure how far SWF Studio can stretch Flash capabilities since we have only done 1 relatively simple project with SWF Studio's application so far.

This is what is needed:-
(1) develop a Flash/SWF Studio Kiosk-mode Application
(2) use the Kiosk-mode application to interact with a digital camera
(3) using the Kiosk-mode application to trigger a snapshot
(4) automatically transfer the image from the digital camera to the Kiosk-mode application
(5) automatically upload the image into a web server.

I would be grateful if someone could advise me with regards to the technical feasibility of such an application.

Thank you if anyone could share some insights to this challenge.
Hobbes


Posted by northcode in SWF Studio V3 on Jan 25 2008, 04:40 pm

(1) develop a Flash/SWF Studio Kiosk-mode Application
Kiosk mode is no problem.

(2) use the Kiosk-mode application to interact with a digital camera
If Flash recognizes your camera as a web cam, then Flash should provide everything you need to control the digital camera.

(3) using the Kiosk-mode application to trigger a snapshot
You can take a snapshot of anything displayed on the screen. If you need more resolution than what you see in the on-screen preview then we'll have to dig a bit deeper and find out how to talk to the camera. Might require some custom work.

(4) automatically transfer the image from the digital camera to the Kiosk-mode application
Again, if the screen capture is sufficient you're in the clear. If not then the camera should be visible as a USB drive on the system which provides a way to get the image as long as we can take the picture (see caveat in #3).

(5) automatically upload the image into a web server.
Not a problem, the HTTP plugin or the FTP plugin can handle this.


Posted by mbd in SWF Studio V3 on Jan 25 2008, 05:00 pm

I just wanted to mention that if you're going to be testing kiosk mode you should be read the documentation carefully about what parts of your computer this will affect. Although it's simple to turn kiosk mode on, if you don't supply a way for your application to exit properly or turn kiosk mode off, you could be faced with having to reset your PC.

Just make sure you have a quit button (one that calls ssCore.App.quit() - don't assume the application window's close button will work, because it is disabled in kiosk mode). Or, put a button in your application that will disable kiosk mode:

ssCore.App.kioskMode({flag:false});
Then you will be able to close your application normally.

If something happens where your app fails, or you can't get out of your application for whatever reason, create yourself a "disable kiosk mode" application. It's very simple: enter these two lines in an FLA:

ssCore.App.kioskMode({flag:true});
ssCore.App.kioskMode({flag:false});

Publish the SWF and build an EXE.

Alternatively, AGo has built one for just this occasion:
http://www.northcode.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8434

And to elaborate on Tim's points:

2. There is no SWF Studio functionality, built-in, to interact with a Camera. If Flash's built-in camera support is not adequate you could also have someone build you a SWF Studio plugin that could give you this functionality.

3. If you're using Flash's Camera object, the image is being displayed in Flash, so you can get the bitmapdata. As of SWF Studio 3.5 you can now write binary files, so you could even write the data out as an image file.

You also might want to look at Flash Media Server (FMS) 3, which has been released. The pricing model has changed: no bandwidth or connection limitations. There's a free developer edition, which provides limited connections and bandwidth, but for $499 and $999, the full versions aren't expensive for what they can do. With FMS you would be able to send the data directly to the server.


Posted by hobbes006 in SWF Studio V3 on Jan 28 2008, 12:35 pm

Thank you Tim, Thank you Derek for your kind input...

Looks like a high resolution web cam may be the way to go.
Or if it has to be a digital camera, do you guys have any recommendations who I can talk to to get a Plugin Co-developed? We have internal resources to build Actionscript and some basic C++/C#; but any advanced C++/C#, we will probably need some help to get the job done quickly.

O... and there's another question I missed out and this might be the deal-breaker. Anyway to talk to a Printer? How difficult is it to build a C++/C# plugin to a printer? "Difficulty" as measured by estimated development time required for 1 Developer.

Also, one of my colleagues found this link - http://www.steves-digicams.com/digsoftware_cameractrl.html
A very comprehensive links to Software which can control a DSLR camera (depending on model of course). May be useful for people who are looking for this in future. Therefore, the question is whether the SWF Studio wrapped application can somehow talk to these existing applications...


Posted by mbd in SWF Studio V3 on Jan 28 2008, 12:57 pm

We do custom work as well. Send a request with your requirements to services at northcode.com.

SWF Studio has Printer functionality. What are you looking to do specifically? It's possible you can accomplish that part with Flash and SWF Studio.


Posted by hobbes006 in SWF Studio V3 on Jan 28 2008, 01:12 pm

Hi Derek,

Another super fast reply by you. :)
Do you guys ever sleep?

Essentially, we are trying to build a Frontend App (user interface) for a PhotoBooth which would talk to this -> http://www.breezebrowser.com/DSLRRemotePro/features.htm

Reading this application's features further you can see that
" DSLR Remote Pro also includes a DLL and a sample program (complete with C++ source code) which allows other applications to release the camera's shutter and adjust the shutter speed and aperture. This opens up many exciting possibilities such as movement or sound sensors being used to trigger the camera for taking wild-life shots with this remote capture tool. "

So that is good news. As long as we can make the Frontend (Kiosk Mode) app talk to this 3rd party application, we can let the Frontend user control the Photo Shoot, Downloading of Photo, Printing out of Photo and uploading of Photo.

How much would you charge for building a plugin like that and how long do you reckon it will take?

Regards,
Hobbes


Posted by AGo in SWF Studio V3 on Jan 29 2008, 04:36 am

jsut a little addition to the printing stuff:

While Flash/SWF Studio offers basic printing support I often use either a html2pdf converter or a LaTeX engine to render more complex documents for printing and then print them with SWF Studio, that works very well for me and gives you unlimited possibilities.

If you are in a controled environment you could also write a simple HTML page
and print it using the internal browser. However you would then need to remove/adjust the header and footer lines from the IEs printer settings.