Flash in touch screen kiosks at exhibitions
The summer is coming and with it fairs, exhibitions or trade shows. Thanks to them, I usually get work every summer making multimedia projects for touch screen kiosks.
A touch screen kiosk is nothing more than a PC with a touchscreen, mounted in a stand. To make multimedia projects for these type of devices, nothing like the Flash. Now that Flash is dissapearing of the Web due to the HTML5, in multimedia desktop projects where you have to create an executable (projector) is still the king, for its effectiveness and ease of use.
In this post I will give some tips for developing projectors for touch screen kiosks with Flash:
Flash dimensions must match the screen where it will be shown, so the first thing to do is to figure out the characteristics of the kiosk screen where it will be shown. The Flash will always run full screen.
mini-PCs inside kiosks are usually not very powerful, so do not overdo the Flash FPS, 25 or 30 is enough.
Make very big buttons on the multimedia. Not the buttons themselves, but the clickable area of the button (which can have alpha 0) should be as large as possible. This is because sometimes touchscreens are decalibrated by a lot of usage, and if the buttons are small, clicking the screen with your finger over the button is useless because once decalibrated the finger touch no longer matches the button position.
Do not put buttons to exit the application. It seems silly, but I've seen some multimedia for kiosks with an exit button, for what?
Set the font of readable texts rather large, so users do not have to stick their nose on the kiosk screen to read them.
Make an inactivity timer, so that if the multimedia is untouched for several minutes, go to the home screen or run an animation to call users.
Remember to put a shortcut for the multimedia executable in the Windows Start Menu of the PC that is inside the kiosk, so that when you turn on the kiosk and Windows starts, the multimedia starts too.
Beware with the audio. Before you put music or sound effects to the multimedia, ask where the kiosk will be located, they may disturb the people.
And watch the video: To include video for this type of multimedia, follow a few tips:
- As multimedia will go full screen, we must config the video viewer FLVPlayback with the parameter fullScreenTakeOver to false. Furthermore we should not use the FLVPlayback as a visual component, better declaring it as an object in the code, because it will give us a lot of problems.
- If we use the FLVPlayback COMPLETE event, you must remember to remove it and put it back if you'll use the same component to play various videos, it "learns" the end of the first video and it can give "wrong ends" in the following videos.