Microsoft Kinect allows you to maneuver your character and navigate compatible games simply by using hand gestures and body movements – at least that’s how Microsoft intended it to be. Researcher Evan Suma and his team at University of Southern California, have found a way to use Kinect is a somewhat unusual way. OpenNI, hacked programs (FAAST), and some tech voodoo, have allowed this team of masterminds to plug in Kinect to their computer’s USB port, and use it to play World of Warcraft. The software translates real-world gestures into in-game commands that allows for the player to level-grind with their fists.
Read More | Game Life
Since Kinect came out there have been some pretty interesting hacks of the technology. The latest one is a retro reprogramming that allows “Yankeyan” to control NES classic Super Mario Bros. using his body as the controller.
“I programmed it to recognize my motions and passed the virtual button presses to the NES emulator," says Yankeyan. "I could have placed a simulated keypad right in front of me that I can press with my hands, but I thought full body gestures were more in the spirit of Kinect. Of course, Mario isn't designed to be played like this, so this is really really hard."
If you listen closely you can hear the sound of Shigeru Miyamoto’s Wii controller hitting the floor.
The amazing Kinect technology sells at retail for $150, but is comprised of only $56 worth of materials. A teardown analysis performed by UBM TechInsights reveals these materials include chips made by PrimeSense Ltd., Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Texas Instruments Inc. and STMicroelectronics NV.
The technology used to capture motion is done by both audio and infrared. Allan Yogasingam, a technical marketing manager at UBM TechInsights states:
"The future applications of this technology could be fascinating. I can see this being incorporated into televisions—allowing users to chang the channel by waving their hand, essentially replacing the remote control."
Read More | EETimes
Just a few hours ago a video surfaced on Twitter that showed the Microsoft Kinect sensor working on a PC running a Linux open source driver, just 3 hours after the European launch. The driver manages to read the input from both the video and the depth camera on the Kinect, making the information available to PC software. This was done using an open source driver now available online. Of course, this has no immediate use for you and me, but it's the first step that can lead to many cool things. Ever since Kinect was announced, people have commented that it could be used for a myriad of scenarios, such as a cheap motion capture device for animators, or a security system, which could recognize familiar faces and block intruders. Now that it's been demonstrated that the system can indeed be hacked into and linked to a normal PC, expect more code to be written to take advantage of these features in the coming months.
Read More | Open Source Kinect driver
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