Adding to the list of homebrewed Kinect wonders, artist Mauritius Seeger writes to share his live video scratching rig, built with Kinect. It’s the first experiment, but already shows some great promise:

hey guys, i just wanted to let you know about a kinect prototype/hack i’ve made to explore video scratching via hand movements. just a first step in a possible gestural VJ interface. in this video you see me controlling the playhead of a video using the distance between my body and the camera. currently it just picks a significant closest point, so that it can be used with either hand, head or body yet remaining robust to noise and outliers and not re-quiting calibration or background subtraction.

But wait a second here – is this just about novelty, about using Kinect Because It’s There? There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but I wanted to know what VJ drmo’s motivation drove him to create the project. After all, the answer to the question “why” is likely to be different for each artist, inspiring some to embrace something like Kinect while giving someone else new-found appreciation for good, old-fashioned knobs and faders.

His personal answer is well thought-out:

i use modul8 with a midi controller and have kind of given up on video scratching because it’s so bad in software when i last tried it ( with modul8) and have been generally frustrated with the type of control i have over video playback in vj software.

the reason i was interested in using kinect for this is because i can imagine a much more intuitive, natural and fun way to control visuals than sliders or a mouse. i was going to add clip transition controlled with a swipe movement, since scratching and clip changing would go a long way in having something usable already, and that would just be the beginning.

So, dear readers, what control scheme do you dream of?

  • Play an 8 our set like that, your arms are going to be *tired* 🙂

  • god damn it. Hour. I swear I speak fluent english.

  • Wes

    Looks pretty grand. I'd love to see a kinect aimed at a person dancing and use their movement to adjust filters on the video.

    Creating art installations with kinect input is something I'd very much like to do. Movement sensing devices are so new and have so many possibilities.

    As far as scratching goes, forget it. just get a good controller.

  • I would like to see a kinect used as maybe another layer overtop of something more tactile. I like using my pressure sensitive drum pads. Having something I can beat up or caress brings me that much closer to feeling like I'm playing a musical instrument.

    If the kinect were intelligently integrated with these other interfaces (ie I'm holding button 15, modulating pressure and flicking my finger to the left…activate effect and modulate it in two dimensions) it could really bring some nice new gestures to the table. Seeing early stuff like this is nice, but people figure out that their arms get tired really quickly…but that could be solved by having some kind of physical thing sitting there, even a broomstick or something like that, haha. I have always wanted to believe in these non tactile interfaces, but I think that unless I become a trained dancer, my body is mostly only going to understand interacting with a physical object as a means of performance.

  • mo

    notice that you can scratch with you head too! and holding that up isn't usually tiring unless you have a very big head 😉

  • movie64

    as a fan of tai chi i see a future where we navigate our browsers and applications with our body, with smooth movements (or more radical for some dubstep gigs), it as a chance to make computers more ergonomic, users get less tired than by using keyboards, touchpads, mouses, tablets… especially when there will be possibility to adjust kinect/body mapping in such freedom that we will use only movements we feel comfortable with… then we will not need a training, the "work" will be pleasure fitness, 2in1:)