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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I Want My IR TV: A Giant Screen Made of 625 Remote Controls

From the avalanche of discarded, used electronics, artists are beginning to make new works. DeFunct/ReFunct, as covered here in some detail recently, appeared last week at Berlin’s Transmediale. But for a uniquely-elegant transformation of the old into the new, Chris Shen shares his TV screen made of some 625 remote controls, as installed in an East London gallery. It can’t be seen with the naked eye, but through any IR-sensitive lens, the screen comes alive. It’s television for other electronics, then, the remote controls putting on an infrared show for an audience of sensors. Chris sends CDM this description: 625 …

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InvisiBall: Play Tennis with Sound, Blindfolded – or Blind

Trust your ears. It seems a simple instruction, in the teaser video for this project by Stockholm-based producer/composer Håkan Libdo. But for those of us used to having vision, focusing in on one sense – even the sense on which we rely for music and sound – can be an extraordinary experience. If digital interface design has done anything, it has forced new ways of looking at design across senses, and not just in a weary repetition of “we always do it this way.” Playing tennis in InvisiBall becomes a new experience. Sonic cues along direct the ball from side …

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Dodecahedronists, Unite: An Audiovisual Controller, Gestures and Polyhedra, Open Hardware

I love this controller, but I think we should keep it Platonic. Solid. Sorry, geometry humor. See, the controller in question is constructed as a convex regular polyhedron, such that all its faces are themselves congruent regular polygons meeting at each vertex, and … uh, never mind. Above, a stunningly gorgeous video from Polish media art group panGenerator, with some lovely chiming music following by the evidently-now-requisite dubstep demo. (Tip all of us could use, guys and gals – makeup. Styling. Now, they just need some post-production so you can’t see the IR sensors or the wires.) Hedoco, also based …

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Augmented Projection with Magician Marco Tempest, Big in Japan

Magic Projection Live @ TEDxTokyo 2010 from Marco Tempest on Vimeo. Applying infrared tracking to a projection surface, Magic Projection makes digital visuals more immersive by freeing the content from fixed real-world imagery. We saw the project at the end of last year, but technologist and magician Marco Tempest tells us he’s just completed the first live performance debut of the system. The project is built in OpenFrameworks, with the assistance of that project’s founder Zach Lieberman. Here is the first ever live performance with my Magic Projection system (at TEDxTokyo 2010). Have fun watching and let me know what …

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Handmade Music Spreads to Austin, Teaches You Awesomeness, Andromeda-Style

Autonomous bassline generators? Wireless, modular, infrared sync? Tiny drum machines networking together? Welcome to Texas, and the minds of Eric Archer, Bleep Labs, 4ms Pedals, the Church of the Friendly Ghost, and Andromeda Space Rockers. One look at a floor full of blinking circuits, and most ladies and gentleman might assume they’ve stumbled upon some alien technology. “Imagine the things we could learn from this civilization – advancements far beyond our own,” as the stock line from sci fi goes. “Man and woman are not meant to learn such things. You’re meddling in things beyond your comprehension.” In other words, …

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Gorgeous Timeline-Less Audiovisual Multi-Touch Sequencer, Built in Flash

CASTALIAN / New concept Audio Visual Touch Sequencer from nucode on Vimeo. We’ve talked in the past about the idea of user interfaces and visual output merging. Instead of a UI on one screen and visuals on another, the idea is that the interface itself melds into the output. I can think of few better examples of how this begins to evolve than a video recently posted on Vimeo by user nucode. Working with a projected, camera-tracked multi-touch interface and audiovisual loops in custom Flash-based software, nucode manipulates samples as though on an alien, futuristic interface. The result: a sequencer …

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How-to Videos: Digital Wall Harp, Pipe Organ Chair

MyHome 2.0 is a promotional site for Verizon FIOS that’s enlisted some very talented DIYers. They’ve got a couple of pretty impressive interactive music projects — this is not the sort of stuff most people would take on. The Pipe Organ Chair isn’t a digital project per se, but we all love sound here, and who’s to say you couldn’t integrate bellows into your next digital instrument? The basic idea is to force air through pipes using butt-powered bellows, requiring, of course, a fair bit of assembly. How 2.0: Pipe Organ Chair from My Home 2.0 DIY on Vimeo. Pipe …

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AirPiano: Touch-Free, Sensing Gestural Music Controller

Omer Yosha has created a beautiful, elegant interface that uses infrared sensors to control music applications. Touch-free interfaces, of course, date back to the Theremin, but Omer is trying some new things here, creating an invisible matrix of controls in the air. And I love the way the physical object looks. He writes to tell us about the details: I’m an Interface Design student from the FH Potsdam (near Berlin), i have a musical background, and the idea to create an AirPiano developed as i was playing around with the Arduino board, Processing and some IR sensors in my free …

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Out of Bounds Installation Sees Through Walls via IR Torch

Seeing through walls in Chris’ Out of Bounds. Photo by the artist, via Flickr. Chris O’Shea (also of the blog Pixelsumo) has a brilliant installation that allows people to see through walls. It’s an idea I’ve seen done before, but Chris actually makes the effect convincing, by giving visitors an infrared torch (what we’d call a flashlight here in the States, though torch in this case is an even better word). Software tracks the position of the IR emitter via an overhead security camera, and the whole thing is coded to make the impact realistic. Software is coded in OpenCV …

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