Ever get tired of having to pull your phone out of your pocket every time you want to check your email? Thanks to Microsoft Research’s new Wearable Multitouch Projector, someday you’ll be able to display a multitouch screen on whatever you have in front of you, no phone extraction needed!
Hack of the Week Archive
What do you get when you cross a Kinect MIDI controller with an organ that’s able to be controlled by MIDI? Pure awesome. That’s exactly what Chris Vik has done with his new Kinectar Performance Platform by attaching it to the four story tall Melbourne Town Hall Organ.
Kinectar takes your Kinect and turns it into a totally legit MIDI controller, allowing you to do your best impression of a conductor while outputting some sweet, sweet music. Vik has set up the system to recognize your arms in a 3D space, setting different reactions to occur depending on your positioning. You can use this setup to select different instruments, trigger solos, and rifle off preset progressions of up to eight cords, all by moving your arms in a certain way.
Luckily for Vik, the Melbourne Town Hall Organ was recently configured to recognize MIDI input, so all he had to do was set up his Kinect. The effort produces a pretty spectacular result, which you can see in the video below. Of course, not everyone has an organ nearby to hook this up to, but you’ll still be able to produce MIDI pieces at home. Check out his website for more information about everything Kinectar can do, or to download it yourself. Who knows, your conducting dreams may be about to come true!
It’s a complaint familiar to friends of jean aficionados everywhere – “I just can’t find a pair of pants that fit me!” Well, thanks to Kinect and Bodymetrics, those dark days of ill-fitting denim are about to come to an end. Bodymetrics has designed an innovative system that creates a 3D map of people’s bodies, using eight Kinect sensors to take in every curve and contour. The data is then sent to a personal Bodymetrics account, where customers can use it to pick from a selection of jeans that not only look good, but are a perfect fit.
Now that we’ve got you on the edge of your seats with pants-y anticipation, you’re probably wondering where you can try out this marvelous machine. Unfortunately, the only currently running unit is at Selfridges in London, but a recent appearance at a Bloomingdale’s in LA will hopefully pave the way for some permanent installations across the pond from Bodymetrics’s UK headquarters.
From the sound of it, Bodymetrics isn’t satisfied with just throwing a couple of their so-called “Pods” up in shops, they’re hoping to take the retail world by storm. Their eventual plans will allow for women to scan themselves at home, then take to the internet to virtually try on and purchase clothing. As you can see in the video below, they’ve also taken precise measurements of a variety of clothing so you will even be able to tell exactly where on your body particular clothes will be snug. While that’s not quite the futuristic dream of pulling merchandise straight out of your TV screen, it’s starting to get pretty darn close.
Here at Xbox Kinect Fans’s secret underground videogame base, we have a big issue: it’s incredibly hard to carry the entire team’s gold-plated champagne goblets at once, not to mention the heaping plates of caviar that make up our rather pedestrian diet. Thanks to the hard work of Microsoft robotics team member Harsha Kikkeri and the recently released free beta of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4, we’ve now added a few robot butlers to the team, white bow ties and all. Joking aside, Kikkeri has given us a great look at what is capable when Microsoft combines some of its greatest minds from other departments with the feature set of one of its most innovative tools, the Kinect.
As the video shows, Kikkeri used a little bit of child psychology as the basis of his idea after realizing that the first thing a child does upon becoming mobile is following those around it. While the robot does seem to react and move a little slowly, it’s doing some pretty impressive stuff – recognizing both voice and motion, tracking and recognizing objects around it, and carrying trays of delicious looking Kinect soda (what is that and where can we get some!). It’ll be interesting to see what other crazy contraptions come out of the woodwork now that the Robotics Developer Studio has released, but honestly can it really get much better than a robotic butler?
Maybe we at Xbox Kinect Fans are just a bit old fashioned, but back in the day having a car with one of those awesome cameras that helped you park was pretty much the pinnacle of vehicle technology. Nowadays though, pretty much anyone can have one, thanks to an awesome new hack by the University of Technology in Sydney’s Gibson Hu. Currently rigged up using a touchscreen display inside the car and some nifty open source software, a Kinect mounted on the back of the car transmits a variety of different video types to help with parking. In addition to the straight-up and infrared videos, Hu has created a special bird’s eye image using the depth-perceiving powers of the Kinect sensor. Still not impressed? The next step is to bring the video straight to your Android phone, allowing you to inspect the parking job of whoever just stole your car.
Here at Xbox Kinect Fans, we want to celebrate all things Kinect. With all the hubbub in the XBLA world over the upcoming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, we thought it would be cool to take a look at something unrelated to the Xbox 360 that also involves skateboards. Behold: the Board of Awesomeness. Read the rest of this entry »