Kinect and objects on Arbitrary Planes – new interactive light show

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Posted on 02/23/2011



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This interesting take on the Kinect’s capability to detect depth will definitely interest light show enthusiasts. With the help of Kinect, users may now engage in an interactive performance with designed lights. This video release by James Patten explores the possibility of interactive light shows by using the Kinect and plotting specific points on arbitrary planes. The result, as seen in this video, is remarkable. The user or objects are then followed with specifically designed lights based on their position on the designated plane.

This project is indeed beneficial for a lot of people ranging from performers to lights designers and even to party organizers. The ability to highlight people through the use of lights has always proven itself effective. What more now where people can interact with these lights? You can now party with lights following your movements, you can perform while having alluring lights follow you and you design all these possibilities with the help of Kinect.

For more information about the James Patten, visit his website.

Kinect grants Optical Camouflage

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Posted on 02/23/2011



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We’ve seen Kinect codes that transform you into superheroes or other animated sketches but to give you complete optical camouflage? Well, thanks to the Kinect, users may now relive their dreams of being that signature camouflage ability of the popular alien-antagonist, the Predator. This video release by Takayuki Fukatsu shows this intriguing feature of having the user fully transparent yet the body’s outline still remains. This gives the user that unique, camouflage look; having its presence felt yet extremely difficult to spot.

What makes this project interesting is that most projects involving the Kinect is based on the premise of giving additional features to the user. This, however, decided to go the other way and use the Kinect to make the user “less obvious” to a point of near disappearance. If the project would cater to Predator fans, we may see hand commands that turn this optical camouflage on and off.

No-Touch Kinect Internet Browsing

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Posted on 02/23/2011



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Touch technology may have met its match now that users can freely browse  the internet with the no-touch technology provided by the Kinect. This program has presented everyone the potential to surf through their favorite social networking sites, picture hosting websites and online stores using only their hand sways and gestures. This video released by students of Fluid Interfaces Group and Information Ecology Group shows the web browser extension they made that enables any webpage to interact with the Kinect. The programming language used was Javascript. They have christened this extension as the DepthJS.

The video shows how the students were able to browse through different windows using only their hand without touching any surface. The Kinect makes this possible by detecting the hand movements and was also programmed to maximize the window if the user clenched his fist. The makers of this video is dreaming big for their program. While their creation can only browse through windows at the moment, given time and further development, the are envisioning the Kinect to also help in using other applications in the web such as games and utilities.

For more information about DepthJS, visit it code’s website. The download of the DepthJS is also available there.

Draw in 3d with the Kinect

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Posted on 02/22/2011



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Flat canvases will cease to exist now that the Kinect has made it possible for artist to draw in 3d. Memo Akten recently released this video of him drawing in spirals and lines in 3d using the Kinect. In the video, one hand is the designated pencil while the other hand is in charge of rotating the image. This gives the user the freedom to create revolutionary artworks with the use of their hands or body movements. While the program is still on its initial phase, this easy yet effective method of 3d artwork creation holds exciting promise especially to artists looking for a new way to create masterpieces.

We may see more tools, colors and features as the project develops. The project was made possible by the use of libfreenect and ofxKinect to provide access to openFrameworks.

For more information about this 3d Artwork Creation using the Kinect, visit the code’s website for more info. The code is also available for download there.

Kinect Community will get Kinect SDK from Microsoft

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Posted on 02/22/2011



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Christmas has come early for the Kinect community as Microsoft has now pledged its full support to the creative minds behind custom Kinect programs. The software giant, Microsoft, have announced today that it will officially launch an SDK (Software Development Kit) for the Kinect this March. This means that developers, Kinect enthusiasts and the academe will be provided with a development kit to further utilize the Kinect and to also create and further develop user-made Kinect programs.

“We think we’re going to see a huge explosion in interest,” said Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, ”We welcome that and will support it.”

Microsoft initially had an ambiguous stand with regard to the “hacks” of Kinect’s community. But this announcement revealed that Microsoft “fully support” the people’s interest to custom-made Kinect programs and will provide assistance to the developers. This is a welcome step of Microsoft towards transcending the Kinect’s purpose beyond gaming. Now that the makers of the innovative product has pledged its support, the Kinect community now has the blessings (and means) to capitalize on the Kinect’s technology.

Report has it that there will be 2 versions of the Kinect’s SDK. First will be a non-commercial version, primarily catered to give users the ability to further experiment on the Kinect and develop programs for home or academic use. The other one will be a commercialized version which grants the users features that can help them sell or exploit their work.

Here is an official statement from Microsoft:

“Today, Microsoft announced it will release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit from Microsoft Research later this spring. The intent of releasing a “starter kit” for application developers is to make it easier for academic research and enthusiast communities to create even richer experiences using Kinect technology.

“The Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research is being developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) to support a growing community of academic researchers and enthusiasts who are exploring potential applications built using Kinect.

“The starter kit will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to deep Kinect system capabilities such as audio, system APIs, and direct control of the sensor.  Microsoft will deliver a commercial version of the SDK later. There are no further details to share at this time.

“Microsoft has deep investments in R&D in natural user interfaces (NUI). NUI is part of the company’s long term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us. The fruits of those investments manifesting across many of Microsoft’s products, including Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator.

“This announcement of the Microsoft Kinect for Windows SDK reflects Microsoft’s desire to unleash the magic of the NUI technology to a broader set of academic researchers and the enthusiasts by  empowering them with the tools to create exciting applications with the use of Kinect technology.”

With this assurance of support and the promise of more means to create innovative programs, the Kinect Community will no doubt embrace this announcement. This will indeed fuel the drive of many developers and we may just see the dawn of a new age of innovation and a tidal wave of exciting programs. More than ever, you have to stay tuned here in Kinecthacks.com for the latest Kinect programs out there.