Create your interactive Surface

NextSurface is a software for creating interactive surfaces. NextSurface transforms any screen into a multi-touch and multi-user interface that multiple people can use simultaneously, like a physical whiteboard. NextSurface supports common input devices, such as Apple Trackpad or similar devices, however, for a better user experience, we recommend using a multitouch device, such as multi-touch frame overlays produced by PQLabs or ZaagTech, or our remote controller NextGesture on iPad.

Screen shot showing a color picker in NextSurface Screen shot showing a web page in NextSurface Screen shot showing a PDF document in NextSurface

Download on the Mac App Store

How does it work?

Watch the short video we have created to show NextSurface in action. Download the app and run it on your Mac. Enable system events to use Apple trackpad and system gestures. Connect a multitouch device or install NextGesture app in your iPad for a better user experience. Enable kiosk mode if you want to hide macOS and you want to run NextSurface in a dedicated machine, like a digital whiteboard.

Screen shot showing a web page in NextSurface

System requirements

NextSurface requires an Apple computer with macOS 10.8 or later. We recommend a system with 4GB of RAM, a dual core CPU and 2GB of free disk space. NextSurface requires at least one input controller.

Input controllers

NextSurface supports many types of input controllers. NextSurface has drivers for Apple Trackpad or similar device, PQLabs or ZaagTech multi-touch frame overlays, any device compliant with TUIO 1.1, and NextGesture app for iOS. Multiple input controllers can be connected to the same surface.

Configuration

NextSurface's configuration consists of few parameters: location of workspace (where to read and write files), name of boot script, network port for receiving TUIO events (which depends on the configuration of TUIO source), UDP and TCP ports for connecting with remote controllers (multiple instances of NextGesture), flag to enable system events, flag to enable visual feedback, and flag to enable kiosk mode. The parameters are modifiable in initial window. If you don’t change any parameter, NextSurface will enter in full screen mode and it will execute the selected boot script automatically after 30 seconds.

System events

Enable system events in configuration in order to use a trackpad or similar device and to emulate multiple touch points with mouse and keyboard. Beware you should not enable system events if you already have connected a TUIO device and the device’s driver emulates a mouse or trackpad. In that case try disabling the mouse or trackpad emulation in your device driver’s settings. NextSurface supports tap, scroll, magnify and rotate gestures, performed with multiple fingers, from multiple input devices.

Input simulator

Mouse events can be used for simulating complex gestures performed with multiple fingers. You can add or remove touch points which can be grouped and dragged together by applying the following commands:

CommandAction
Press left buttonAdd temporary touch point
Release left buttonRemove temporary touch point
Press SHIFT key before releasing left buttonCreate permanent touch point
Press SHIFT key and click on permanent pointRemove permanent touch point
Press CTRL key and click on any pointAdd point to group or remove it if already added
Press left button and dragMove a single point or a group of points

Content sharing

Install NextGesture in your iOS device to share content, such as images, videos, PDFs, and more. In order to use the share button, you have to enable NextGesture share extension in iOS settings, and you have to create a new entry in NextGesture’s surfaces list. Once you have enabled the extension, you are able to share content, which represents one of supported content types, from any other app. Tap on the share button, select NextGesture in the extensions list, and finally select the surface where you want to upload your content.

Bundled Applications

NextSurface includes two applications for presentation and collaboration. The applications are based on NextSurface's proprietary toolkit for creating a multi-touch and multi-user interface. The toolkit supports a natural interaction with visual elements and it supports gestures performed with multiple fingers. Possible use cases are interactive meeting rooms, information kiosks for hotels or estate agencies, and digital whiteboards.

Docs is an application for collaborative presentation of documents, images and movies

Present virtual documents

Docs is an application for collaborative presentation of documents, images and movies. It provides viewers for various file formats including a component for rendering and browsing web pages. You can create an interactive table for meeting rooms or a kiosk for browsing products and interacting with virtual documents.

Docs displays documents located in a folder inside the application's workspace. The documents can be added or removed from the folder while the application is running. It is possible to share the folder over the network to easily add or remove files from any remote computer. Docs supports the following file formats: pdf, png, jpeg, tiff, mp4, m4v, mov, mpeg, avi, html, and url (url is just a plain text file which contains only one row with the target url).

News is an application for collaborative reviewing of documents, newspapers and magazines

Review newspapers

News is an application for collaborative reviewing of documents, newspapers and magazines. It provides viewers for various file formats including a component for rendering web pages. Reviewing documents is very easy, just select a document, enlarge it and highlight parts of it.

News displays documents located in a folder inside the application's workspace. Documents can be added or removed from the folder while the application is running. It is possible to share the folder over the network to easily add or remove files from any remote computer. News supports the following file formats: pdf, png, jpeg, tiff, html and url (url is just a plain text file which contains only one row with the target url).


Follow NextSurface on Facebook