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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New Kinect Windows SDK Coming; Microsoft Opens Up Pre-release Developer Access [Timeline]

Whatever is going on in the new Kinect Microsoft unveiled recently, it’s doing more than its predecessor. It appears vastly more precise, smarter about telling people from objects, better at telling people from other people, and more responsive to gestures. And there’s another difference: this time, at last, Microsoft appears to be hitting the ground running. Caught flat-footed by the interest of innovative developers and artists in the original Kinect, Microsoft has only recently managed to get their SDK in a state that could rival efforts by hackers and sensor developer PrimeSense. The official Windows sensor, at least, is now …

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Lawnmower Man-Style Audiovisuals, in Kinect Experiment, Plus a New Kinect

Oculus Rift + Kinect – Audio visual instrument a001 from Ethno Tekh on Vimeo. That window between science fiction and actual interfaces continues to narrow. Here, virtual hands paw at geometric orbs to produce sound, with simultaneous 3D visuals as accompaniment, in the latest artist/hacker experiment. You can thank the popular and surprisingly-accessible game engine, Unity – which recently added free deployment to mobiles, by the way. Description: This is our first Kinect-controlled, virtual reality experiment, using the greatly anticipated Oculus Rift. It’s a simple virtual reality environment built in Unity 3D with our own interactive framework. It allows us …

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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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Music Developer on Windows 8: A Leap Forward for Desktops; A Leap Backward for Metro, WinRT?

Steven Sinofsky showing Windows 8 last year. Photo (CC-BY) BUILDWindows. There’s good news and bad news on Windows 8 for music making. If you’re using Windows on a conventional, Intel PC, running conventional, desktop Windows apps, the news is really all good – really good. It’s still early days, but Windows 8 promises to be better than Windows 7 at audio performance metrics across the board, a no-brainer sort of upgrade for music makers. By contrast, if you’re using Windows 8 on a new ARM-based tablet or interested in seeing music apps that take advantage of the new-fangled store and …

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Microsoft Unveils Two Surface Tablets, But Questions Abound: Will They Hold a Tune?

The iPad has proven a tablet can be a powerful tool for music. It’s also been mostly alone. Android-powered tablets have suffered from lackluster audio performance. Compound that with low popularity in the marketplace and fragmented OS updates, and the platform has largely scared music developers away. Android devices also lack the richness of the iPad’s hardware accessory support, with multi-pin ports that lie dormant, giving accessory makers insufficient capabilities. Windows-powered tablets thus far show some promise, but absent high-quality multi-touch input or thinner form factors, they’ve also been a non-starter. It’s unclear whether it’ll change the situation, but at …

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Interaction in Thin Air: New Research from Microsoft, MIT Uses Magnets, Sound, Space

With multi-touch fully exploited and the basics of camera vision largely understood, interaction moves to the realm of free space, “augmenting” your world with gestures that find some physical connection. They surprise by working in some way that seems intuitive and natural, somewhere away from what seems to be the realm of the computer. And early in the month of May, we see a flurry of new research in just this area. Not one but two projects from Microsoft hold potential, and one from MIT Media Lab is just … absurdly cool. A summary: “Levitated Interaction Element,” out of the …

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Guiding Movements with Light: New Research Project Teaches You Gestures [Kinect]

“Natural interaction” is the phrase commonly applied to gestural interfaces. But a gesture is only “natural” once you’ve learned it. And as everyone from interaction designers to game makers have discovered, that can leave users confused about just what gesture they’re supposed to make. (Ironically, the maligned conventional game controller doesn’t suffer so much from this problem, as its buttons and joysticks and directional pads all constrain movement to a limited gestural vocabulary.) A team of researchers has just shared a new approach to the problem. Coming from Microsoft Research and the University of Illinois’ Computer Science department, authors Rajinder …

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Your Body – to – Ableton Live Interfaces, with Max for Live, Kinect

Perhaps you’ve seen the demo videos, as people do astounding things by moving their body around and using the Kinect camera to make music. Now, a set of Max for Live devices makes it reasonably easy to access your body as input inside Ableton Live.

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Watch Hackers Make 3D More Expressive and Futuristic – Full Art && Code Report

Calibration workshop, demonstrating the gathered energy and brainpower in Pittsburgh last month. Photo by our friend, the extraordinary Kyle McDonald, whose teaching is behind a lot of the creative output here. Microsoft may be running showy ads that show imagined applications of 3D computer vision, but using technology like Microsoft’s own Kinect, hackers are making sci fi reality, right now. Art && Code, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was an epic gathering of artists and hackers and hackers become artists and artists become hackers. It was an extraordinary convergence of learning and making, workshop and hacklab, technical brain dumps and creative …

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