Interactivity via USB

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This page is about interactivity with external devices connected to the HMP via the USB port.

Introduction

Touchscreen

In the digital signage context, interactivity via USB refers to the HMP quality of reacting in a user-defined manner (i.e. reactive action), following the input received from external devices connected to the player via the USB port.

Available on all HMP models, this feature is commonly used to drive touchscreens / touch overlays to create interactive kiosks to provide visitors with interactive information, building directory and way-finding, room reservation etc.

Museums, historical sites, national parks and other tourist / visitor attractions often engage kiosks as a method for conveying information about a particular exhibit or site, allowing guests to read about or view video of particular artifacts or areas at their own pace and in an interactive manner, learning more about those areas that interest them most. Many shopping malls, hospitals, airports and other large public buildings use interactive kiosks to allow visitors to navigate in buildings.

Here are more examples of interactive USB devices that can be used with the HMP:

  • Mouse and keyboard devices;
  • Remote pointers / presenters;
  • Barcode readers, RFID readers, magnetic stripe readers;
  • HID boards (like U-HID board and U-HID Nano) simulating keystrokes or mouse events based on the input from other external devices such as: push-buttons / dry contacts, trackballs, pedals etc.
The HMP supports nearly all interactive USB devices that conform to the Human Interface device (HID) standard, thus not requiring a proprietary driver. Except for few non-HID touchscreen devices, considered safe enough for their proprietary driver to be included into the player firmware, no third-party drivers or applications can be installed on the player for security reasons - if your interactive USB device is not HID-compliant or uses a proprietary driver, then it cannot be used with the HMP.

Configuration

To enable USB interactivity on the HMP, follow the steps detailed below.

Note that some USB devices, like the U-HID boards, may require one-off setup on a Windows machine first.

On HMP300 and HMP350

Advanced Applications > Interactivity page
  1. Open HMP Control Center and go to "Advanced Applications" > Interactivity page.
  2. Click to activate the option labeled "Accept touchscreen and keyboard events".
  3. If needed, change the HMP rendering latency.
  4. Press the "Apply" button and reboot the HMP.
Note Note:
If a touchscreen device is used, you might need to calibrate the touchscreen.

On HMP200, HMP130, HMP100

Display Settings page > Interactivity tab
  1. Open HMP Control Center and go to "Display Settings" page > "Interactivity" tab.
  2. Click to activate the option labeled "Enable events".
  3. If needed, change the HMP rendering latency.
  4. Press the "Apply" button and wait for the HMP to restart.
Note Notes:

How to create interactive content

The easiest way to create interactive content is to use Elementi built-in interactive widgets ("Click *" and "Key *") which instruct the HMP to react to user click / touch and key-press events by doing any of the following:

To get started, follow this tutorial: Create an interactive travel project. When using a mouse connected to the player, you might want to add a mouse cursor to your interactive project.

Note Note:
The interactive project must have an indefinite duration for the interactive events to be correctly processed.

Advanced

For advanced users / developers, some good resources for creating complex interactive content can be found on these pages:

Troubleshooting

Common problems

No interactivity

In case the interactive events are not processed at all, there are few things to verify:
  • Make sure that the USB device is recognized by the HMP and that you have correctly configured the HMP for interactivity.
  • If a touchscreen device is used, you might need to calibrate the touchscreen first.
  • For HMP200, HMP130, and HMP100, you should toggle the "Support large number of USB devices" option from I/O Automation page and see if that solves the issue.
  • Check that the interactive project has an indefinite duration.
  • Check that the layer, which includes the svg file processing the events, has a "focusable" attribute set to "true" (that is "focusable": "true"). In Elementi, this attribute can also be set from "Advanced" tab of "Layer Properties" dialog.


Audio is distorted / presents noises

The "Reduce latency to 60ms when events are received" option should be disabled and "Maximum rendering latency" option should be set at least to 500ms.


Some interactive events appear to be "lost"

The "Reduce latency to 60ms when events are received" option should be disabled. See more details here.
Similarly, combining interactivity with synchronized content can cause problems if the "Reduce latency to 60ms when events are received" option is not disabled on the HMP that updates the Shared Variable (i.e. the player used for control).

Extended logging of input events

SpinetiX Support might require you to enable extended logging of input events, in case the touchscreen calibration fails for instance. In order to instruct the HMP to log more details regarding the input events, follow the procedure detailed below.

Common steps

  1. Open the Control Center interface on the HMP.
  2. Enable the "Advanced" menu:
    • On HMP350 and HMP300 : Apply the special configuration file provided by SpinetiX Support.
    • On HMP200, HMP130, HMP100 : Open the "Status" page, find the HMP picture and click where the SpinetiX logo (in case of an HMP200) or the blue button (in case of an HMP130 / HMP100) is displayed - a confirmation dialog appears; click on "Yes" to enable the "Advanced settings" menu on the left side.
  3. Configure the player to log extended information for input events as detailed below per player model.
  4. Restart the HMP.
  5. Redo the calibration procedure.
  6. Generate a new report.
  7. Once done, revert to the default configuration - enable the "Default configuration" option and click the "Update" button.

Configure HMP350 and HMP300

To enable the extended logging of input events, follow these steps:

  1. Click on "Advanced" > "Log".
  2. Enable "Custom" option and click the "Apply" button.
  3. Go to "Appender" section and find "debugfile" entry.
  4. Enable "Subscribe to all loggers" option and set the "Max Size" to 50000KB .
  5. Click the "Update" button at the bottom of the "Appender" section (and not the one at the bottom of the page!).
  6. Go to "Logger" section and set the "Priority" option (drop-down list) to "Info".
  7. Scroll down and find the "input" row (under "display"); select "Trace" on the drop-down list on the right-most column and make sure that no checkbox are enabled for that row.
  8. Make sure that no other checkboxes are enabled on the debugfile column.
  9. Click the "Update" button at the bottom.

Configure HMP200, HMP130, HMP100

To enable the extended logging of input events, follow these steps:

  1. From the "Advanced" menu, open the "Logs Settings" page.
  2. Enable "Custom configuration" radio button under the "Config" section. Click the "Apply" button right below it.
  3. Go to "Appender" section and find "debugfile" entry.
  4. Enable "Subscribe to all loggers" option and set the "Max Size" to 50000KB .
  5. Go to "Logger" section and set the "Priority" option (drop-down list) to "Info".
  6. Scroll down and find the "--- input" row (under "display"); select "Trace" on the drop-down list on the right-most column and make sure that no checkbox are enabled for that row.
  7. Make sure that no other checkboxes are enabled on the debugfile column.
  8. Click the "Update" button at the bottom.

See also

This page was last modified on 8 October 2018, at 18:36.