“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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The Magic of the New Kinect is in the Hardware; Great Reading on the Specifics

After years of frustration with computer vision on general-purpose computers, the upcoming second-generation Kinect sensor really does begin to look like a breakthrough. And that breakthrough happens inside the hardware design, a System on a Chip that yields high performance data transfers that simply aren’t possible on the laptop in front of you. The site SemiAccurate has taken it upon themselves to look at those particulars. It’s worth going back and reading their whole series on the hardware, actually, even before they get into how vision works on the platform, if you’re fascinated by such things. But their latest article …

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Dance and Music: Convert Kinect to MIDI, Free Beta on Mac and Windows

When we first saw movements and dance converted to music in February, it must have sparked some interest. Developer Jesper Nordin tells us popular demand has prompted him to release a free (as in beer) version of his Gestrument Kinect controller. With a beta download and a Windows or Mac machine, you can translate Microsoft’s depth-sensing camera to MIDI events you can use with instruments. Previously (including mention of the iPad version of this idea, if you don’t fancy prancing about in front of a camera): Gestrument, Shaping Music with Kinect, Touch, and Acoustic Ensembles [Videos] Now, you can grab …

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Biostagog: Fluid Cellular Architecture Combines Mapping, Responsive Interaction [Gallery]

BIOSTAGOG from Platige Image on Vimeo. When futurists dream of fluid architecture, more digital image than brick and mortar, this is one element of what they mean. From Warsaw, Poland comes a project combining algorithmic design, 3D-printed surfaces, and interactive motion turned into projection-mapped image. Yep, that ticks all the buzzword boxes. But the upshot really does signify something transformative here in all these trends: it shows an architectural surface imagined on computers that takes on new shapes and responds to its environment. So, while some of these particular interactions are familiar – apparently, no one gets tired of waving …

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New Kinect Gets Closer to Your Body [Videos, Links]

It’s a new world for media artists, one in which we look to the latest game console news because it impacts our art-making tools. And so it is that, along with a new Xbox, Microsoft has a new Kinect. The new Kinect uses standard infrared tracking (ideal for in-the-dark footage and accurate tracking), but also returns RGB imagery. It’s 1080p, 30-60 fps (it seems tracking is at 30 fps and video at 60, but I’m reading conflicting reports). Hands-on reports say latency is reduced. If the finished product is consistent with rumors, that could be owing to more in-hardware tracking …

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Color and Light: Gestures Manipulate Music, RGB Lights [Ableton + Kinect]

Motion, light & sound / Kinect & Madlight from things happen on Vimeo. In a teaser video just released by Spain’s Things Happen, a silhouetted performer uses arm position to sweep through RGB colors and trigger sound cues. It’s the latest effort to integrate the immersive media environment with a performer’s body, part spectacle, part interface. The ingredients, apart from Microsoft’s ubiquitous Kinect depth camera: Motion capture + image = light + sound Software: MadMapper [using MadMapper’s Madlight feature to trigger lighting] Quartz composer Ableton live Music: Sun Glitters x Isan – Snowfall The nice thing about the inter-linked, comment-enabled …

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Dancing in Point Clouds: unnamed soundsculpture, Making Of, and Human Element [Kinect]

Like an animated equivalent of the Transporter on Star Trek, depth-sensing cameras and custom code can transform the human body into 22,000 points, then back again into something our mind again imagines as flesh and alive, even in abstraction. In “unnamed soundsculpture,” by Cedric Kiefer (onformative) and Daniel Franke (wearechopchop), the body takes on a new meaning in movement, a cloud of points, choreographed. The making-of video itself tells a kind of story: first seeing choreographer/dancer Laura Keil and her ability to animate her own, human body live, then seeing that dance as data in three dimensions, rendered via a …

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PONK: Touchless Air Hockey, with Kinect + Flash, Groovy ’80s Neon Graphics

Enough gimmick. Let’s get down to serious business, the stuff that illuminates our life and gives us a deeper sense of humanity. Yes, I mean air hockey. Yes, I’m dead serious. (Hey, I’m a fan.) In a brilliant – and brilliantly-colored – new project, the power of computer vision reinvents a familiar tabletop game. Live-animated elements and gameplay that connects with just about everybody are a recipe for something really successful. French co-creator Jonathan Da Costa explains:

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PONK: Touchless Air Hockey, with Kinect + Flash, Groovy '80s Neon Graphics

Enough gimmick. Let’s get down to serious business, the stuff that illuminates our life and gives us a deeper sense of humanity. Yes, I mean air hockey. Yes, I’m dead serious. (Hey, I’m a fan.) In a brilliant – and brilliantly-colored – new project, the power of computer vision reinvents a familiar tabletop game. Live-animated elements and gameplay that connects with just about everybody are a recipe for something really successful. French co-creator Jonathan Da Costa explains:

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