Want to transform literally any physical surface into a fully interactive button? Touch Everything is an open source C++ demo from Russian design agency The Family that shows how you can rapidly create touchscreens from just about anything, from beer cans to paper. The demo and full source code is available on our Developer Gallery.


How to Make Buttons from Beer Cans

  • Stack your beer cans (or any objects of a decent size).
  • Point at one corner of the object you want to turn into a button and press [1] on your keyboard. With your other hand press [Enter] to map the first point.
  • Point at another corner and press [2] then [Enter] to map the second point.
  • Point at another corner and press [3] then [Enter] to map the third point.
  • Press [S] to save this as a finalized button.
  • Repeat until you’ve mapped out all your buttons!
  • Hit [D] to activate demo mode


While this doesn’t provide full touchscreen-style functionality – sliding and swiping along surfaces isn’t easy to track in infrared – it does open up a whole new way to rapidly build and prototype interactive installations. It’s also a great application of our recent tracking upgrades, which are more robust to environmental conditions and can reliably maintain finger tracking up to the touchpoint.

The source for Touch Everything is available for developers on The Family’s GitHub page. Try the demo, see how it’s made, and get inspired.

Looking to build your own Leap Motion art installation? Get important design tips with our guide How to Build Your Own Leap Motion Art Installation.

Alex Colgan is the senior director of marketing and developer community at Leap Motion. By transforming how we interact with technology, he believes we can make our world feel more human.

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