"Open" Kinect Tools Go Closed and Dead, Limiting Artist and Hacker Options; Call for Help

The narrative around Kinect and how hackers and artists has always been a little oversimplified. You may have heard something like this: thanks to a bounty, creative individuals “hacked” Microsoft’s Kinect camera and made it open. That’s true, but it isn’t the whole story. While there is a “hacked” Kinect toolset, most of the creative applications you’ve seen make use of a richer set of frameworks from OpenNI. “OpenNI” referred to an alliance of individuals and organizations, and was supposed to represent various interests, as well as what the group called on their Website “an open source SDK used for …

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“Open” Kinect Tools Go Closed and Dead, Limiting Artist and Hacker Options; Call for Help

The narrative around Kinect and how hackers and artists has always been a little oversimplified. You may have heard something like this: thanks to a bounty, creative individuals “hacked” Microsoft’s Kinect camera and made it open. That’s true, but it isn’t the whole story. While there is a “hacked” Kinect toolset, most of the creative applications you’ve seen make use of a richer set of frameworks from OpenNI. “OpenNI” referred to an alliance of individuals and organizations, and was supposed to represent various interests, as well as what the group called on their Website “an open source SDK used for …

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Mood Ring: Put on an iRing, Wave Your Hands in front of iPhone, iPad for 3D Control [$25]

Talk to the hand, iPhone. Wave-your-hands 3D motion has seen various dedicated accessories – most recently, in the Hot Hand USB wireless and Leap Motion. Even Steinberg are in on the act. But this is definitely a new take. IK Multimedia have a plastic “iRing” you wear on your finger that gives you control of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The system uses the internal, front-facing camera on your iOS device to track the position of your hand. The dots on the rings are a marker that the camera follows through space. There are actually markers on both sides, …

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Some Easy Ways to Get Kinect Controlling Music, Visuals on Mac and Windows

While we wait for Microsoft to send the new Kinect – yes, we’re on the list for one here at CDM HQ – there’s still plenty to be done with the current generation of Kinect. And it’s likely that you’ll find even more of these on the cheap when there’s new hardware out there. The problem is, apart from using Microsoft’s prescribed development tools on Windows, working with Kinect can be a bit tricky. What if you want to plug in a Kinect and play around quickly to try some possibilities? Or what if you want to work with collaborators …

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Augmented Dancing: AXIOM.3 Dances (vvvv + Kinect)

“Augmented dancing” is a phrase we’ve gradually been slipping in, describing projection mapping directly onto dancers. It’s always been easy enough to do, but now, if you want to simultaneously mask your projection so it doesn’t also spill behind the dancer – or even go nuts and generate your visuals from intelligent tracking – it’s easier than ever before. Thank/blame Kinect, and accessible tools for using it. MadMapper even has an experimental, very basic tool for creating the mask with that program, though for more sophisticated tools, you’ll want to look to open source libraries for software like OpenFrameworks and …

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Melodies Found in Barcodes, Then Shared, via iPhone

Strings of numbers are everywhere in our world, tucked just outside our awareness alongside identifiers like bar codes. Dutch media artist and inventor Leo van der Veen simply plucks that information and brings it to the fore. Barcodas is a barcode-scanning iPhone app that deciphers common EAN and UPC codes and translates them into musical patterns. Pick the scale you want, and out comes a melody. I’ve engaged in similar silliness myself, but in a sign of how handheld tech has changed, a project I did a few years back involved a USB scanner I purchased at an office supply …

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Bill Gates Says 3D Camera Control Coming to Windows, Credits MS Research

Microsoft’s Project Natal – whether it proves to work for console gameplay or not – clearly represents a significant technical advance. What’s remarkable is the combination of 3D camera hardware with intelligent software for 3D sensing an intuitive interfaces. (And that’s without talking about the helpings of augmented reality and even voice recognition Microsoft has thrown in just for good measure.) Of course, that makes it even more alarming to consider this technology might be stuck only on a single, closed game console. Even with Microsoft’s “community” efforts and freely-available XNA development tool, it’s just not very easy to play …

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