|Grouplab Phidgets||Phidgets Inc|
The Phidget Project Gallery
Phidgets™, or physical widgets, are building blocks that help a developer construct physical user interfaces. The philosophy behind phidgets is:
… just as widgets make GUIs easy to develop, so could phidgets make the new generation of physical user interfaces easy to develop.
Phidgets arose out of a research project directed by Saul Greenberg at the Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary. Phidgets were built and programmed mostly by Chester Fitchett, although other GroupLab members lent a hand. An academic paper describes our thinking.
What you can do with phidgets
Gallery is a pictorial and video archive of what Saul Greenberg's students built with phidgets. Their work is innovative and impressive.
Coding phidgets in .NET languages
Phidgets .NET [Beta]is a C# wrapper for the Phidgets COM Library, allowing drag-and-drop use of Phidgets in Visual Studio .NET. The current release is a BETA version (as of July 15, 2005). it is mostly complete, although some of the rarer phidgets are not included. It should be fine for most of you. It comes with example programs. It also includes several chapters of a book draft on how to program Phidgets in .NET.
I am committed to having a robust .NET version to phidgets, and will respond to bug notices (but maybe not immediately).
Where you can buy phidgets
www.phidgets.com is the company and electronic store that now produces Phidgets. Go there to get an overview, to buy phidgets, to download phidget documentation and software and all the rest.
www.phidgetsusa.com is an independent reseller of Phidgets, and includes additional documentation and examples.
Priorities for Phidgets.NET
Develop a complete set of phidgets and skins. Not all the phidgets and skins are implemented in the current version. As part of removing the COM dependency, it will be necessary to also add new components and skins.
Improvements to the web site. In particular, the Getting Started tutorial should be taken off the main page, expanded, and then split over several pages. It would be great if the online documentation was searchable. It would be desirable to have a cookbook of phidget applications, FAQ, KB, whatever you want to call it.
Remove the COM dependency by coding directly against phidget20.dll. To best accomplish this, obtain the COM source code from Chester and directly parallel what he does there. I
Visual Studio compatibility improvements. Toolbox bitmaps for skins and components. Help integration. The installer should create a Toolbox and add skin / component items to it programmatically.