Kinect Avatar: A low cost 3D modelling tool

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Posted on 12/10/2012



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According to the developers, Kinect Avatar is a “novel scanning system for capturing a full 3D human body model using just a single depth camera and no auxiliary equipment.”

The developers claim that data captured from a single Kinect is sufficient to produce a good quality full 3D human model:

“In this setting, the challenges we face are the sensor’s low resolution with random noise and the subject’s non-rigid movement when capturing the data. To overcome these challenges, we develop an improved super resolution algorithm that takes color constraints into account. We then align the super-resolved scans using a combination of automatic rigid and non-rigid registration.’

One of the advantages of the hack is, of course, it’s low price when placed side-by-side with commercial options. However, as you can see in the video, users are still able to obtains impressive results in several minutes; full 3D human body scanning technology can now become more accessible to everyday users at home.

For more details, be sure to check out the project website below.

 

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Reflexion: Kinect-based Physical Therapy

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Posted on 12/07/2012



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One of the amazing thing’s about the Kinect is that its has outgrown its gaming roots and manage to find applications in real-world scenarios. We’ve seen it used for everything from art, to advertising and for healthcare.

Today’s featured hack focuses on the Kinect’s uses in the healthcare space. Specifically, this application from the West Health Institute aims to help people through post-surgical physical therapy. Here are the details straight from the developer:

“We’ve developed a prototype system here at the West Health Institute called the Reflexion Rehab Measurement Tool that uses a Microsoft Kinect and software to help ensure patients are doing their physical therapy correctly to help cut costs in health care.”

It’s an interesting use of the Kinect’s features and one that could potentially change lives. This is one project that we’d definitely be keeping our eyes on.

To learn more about Reflexion, you can visit the website below.

 

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House browsing and painting with the Kinect

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Posted on 12/05/2012



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One thing that’s really awesome about the Kinect is that it could potentially open doors to virtual reality. Imagine being able to experience things without actually having to be there? It’s a potentially revolutionary idea that, if handled correctly, could be a regular fixture in our lives. And while most people may have their head in the stars when it comes to virtual reality applications, it may have some practical uses that will probably be picked up first to test out the technology’s viability.

So what kind of practical uses are we talking about? Well let’s start with real-estate. Today our featured hack is about a Kinect-powered visual presentation that allows users to tour a house without having to be physically there. Here are the details from the developer:

“This is our first interactive installation with our audio visual group Post Illusions. Our aim and challenge in this project was to create a first person interactive experience using Kinect and Unity 3D. The user is able to walk around a house, garden and paint objects from a color catalogue interface. We considered if the current motion tracking technology can provide a swift working end user experience for daily usage outside of gaming realm.

“The hardware we used are basically a Kinect, a Macbook and a videowall.  OpenNI drivers, Primesense NITE, ZigFu, Unity 3d and Cinema 4d for texture baking and modeling are on the software end. Smoothing provided by OpenNI drivers was not sufficient forfluid camera movement. Motion tracking noise is reduced using smooth follow function of Unity 3D tracking the torso of the skeleton from zero distance instead.”

It’s really an interesting use of thekind of virtual reality that the Kinect can make possible. It could save people the hassle of having to travel between locations when checking out properties and just do it from the comfort of their home.

Interested? Be sure to check out the developer’s website for more details.

 

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Nokia & Orange: A Kinect-powered ad for the Nokia Lumia 610

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Posted on 12/03/2012



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With all the buzz surrounding Nokia’s most recent Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 920, it’s easy to forget that there were other phones existing under the Lumia line. One of them, it turns out, used the Kinect to promote itself. Here are the details:

“In order to promote the phone – Nokia Lumia 610, we used interactive totems designed especially for this purpose, equipped with movement sensors and HD cameras. All interested clients are able to learn more about the advertised device via touchless technology. During the interactive experience, the application user can see him/herself on the totem screen. Nokia Lumia 610 appears on the screen above his/her extended hand. Application’s intuitive interface allows to turn and calibrate the size of the phone, change its color and launch films presenting its functionalities.

“Our application combines three popular technologies: gesture control – allowing to operate the application using gestures, augmented reality – expanding the limits of what is possible, and real time 3D, because the interaction is conducted in real time and in three dimensions.”

The ad may have been from 2010 but it’s still interesting to see how they’ve used the Kinect’s features to make a pitch for the Nokia Lumia 610 stand out.

Be sure to check out the link below for more details about Lemon&Orange’s Nokia Lumia 610 ad.

 

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ZeroUI to make building 3D models as simple as possible

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Posted on 11/30/2012



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ZeroUI is a start-up company focused on bringing hands-free 3D modeling to the masses. Their pitch is to create a tool that will allow just about anyone to easily create their very own digital models.

ZeroUI is reliant on gestural input machines such as the Microsoft Kinect and the Leap controller, and makes 3D model creation using nothing but the user’s hands possible in conjunction with other systems and computer applications. CNET reports:

“The company’s name comes from the fact that its system has an extremely minimal user interface. Rather than requiring users to understand the mathematics and physics of a model they might want to build, the ZeroUI system simply allows them to stand in front of the input camera and use intuitive hand gestures to craft their 3D model.”

ZeroUI demoed their creation at TechCrunch Disrupt last September by creating a 3D model for a robot, each part of which was created using nothing more than simple hand gestures. Completed 3D models can be used the same way as ones created using more complicated CAD systems.

Are you impressed with ZeroUI’s 3D model creation tool? Share your thoughts in the comments!