Software, UI

Simple Launcher 2

As some of you may know, I have done an application called ‘Simple Launcher’. It’s purpose is to provide an easy way to have a multitouch user interface to start other applications.

By pressing a small button on one of the controls it switches between container and bar-mode. In container-mode the user can drag’n’drop an application to a different container (or bar) and in bar-mode he can scroll through or launch applications. Empty containers will be remove automatically and new ones can be created via a button on the top. The user may also change the background by selecting a .jpg file. (Backgrounds are stored in ./Backgrounds and the selection is saved.)

Here is a video of the application running on a HP Touchsmart notebook:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsZMSKe9h2k&w=448&h=252&hd=1]
Simple Launcher 2 Demo

 

As all of the controls used in Simple Launcher are derived from MS Surface you need to install the Surface Toolkit or at least it’s runtime, both available for download at:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=801907a7-b2dd-4e63-9ff3-8a2e63932a74

Assuming you already have installed the MS Touch Pack for Windows 7 there are working shortcuts for Surface Globe and Surface Collage (as shown in the video).

You may also create you own shortcuts: just place a shortcut (.lnk) and a .png (with alpha channel) with the same name in a subfolder in ./Applications. Each numbered subfolder represents a container inside simple Launcher. You can use tools like BeCyIconGrabber (download) to extract icons from .exe-files to png’s with alpha channel (make sure to take the 256×256 versions).

The .zip with some sample shortcuts can be downloaded either here (direct link to download from NUIgroup forum) or by visiting the corresponding thread.

Feel free to contact me (thecakedev@hotmail.com) if you experience any problems or want the sources.

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