"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 …

READ MORE →

“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 …

READ MORE →

With Apple's PrimeSense Acquisition, Shifting Landscape in Depth Sensing, Motion Art

It wasn’t so long ago that point-and-shoot cameras were big, dedicated affairs. Now, camera sensors are everywhere. What’s next? Expect depth-sensing cameras like the Kinect’s to become as ubiquitous as camera sensors are in phones. And don’t listen to the analysts: if Apple is buying PrimeSense, they’re thinking iPhone, not only their Apple TV “hobby.” The news for the open source art hacking community using this stuff? Bad. And good. But… more on that in a bit. With touch staked out as input method, vision and, more broadly, “perceptual computing” seem poised to reshape the way we interact with devices. …

READ MORE →

With Apple’s PrimeSense Acquisition, Shifting Landscape in Depth Sensing, Motion Art

It wasn’t so long ago that point-and-shoot cameras were big, dedicated affairs. Now, camera sensors are everywhere. What’s next? Expect depth-sensing cameras like the Kinect’s to become as ubiquitous as camera sensors are in phones. And don’t listen to the analysts: if Apple is buying PrimeSense, they’re thinking iPhone, not only their Apple TV “hobby.” The news for the open source art hacking community using this stuff? Bad. And good. But… more on that in a bit. With touch staked out as input method, vision and, more broadly, “perceptual computing” seem poised to reshape the way we interact with devices. …

READ MORE →

Music Performance as Real-Time Special Effect: Kinect Jamming Gets More Futuristic

The V Motion Project from Assembly on Vimeo. It’s all real – in a manner of speaking. And it’s all real-time. But just what is a live performance made with cameras, gestures, and projection? It’s worth watching The V Motion Project and pondering those possibilities, amidst the flashy visual eye candy. It’s certainly optically impressive. It’s music made to be watched (and, in the video, filmed with iPhones and whatnot). Watch a second time, and you wonder: as we reach a new peak of maturity, decades into alternative interface design, what will come next? To say that this is a …

READ MORE →

High-Quality, Augmented Filmmaking as Kinect Meets DSLR; Musing on Raw Data

The Kinect camera is built first and foremost to be a three-dimensional sensor, not so much a “camera” in regards to fidelity of the visible image. But what if that data could meet the optics filmmakers want, in a single, calibrated image? The free and open source RGB+D Toolkit answers that need. It’s a combination of tools and knowledge – the mount to combine a Microsoft Kinect camera with your nice, DSLR camera, plus software for bringing everything together. But seeing it in action is the real joy. Check out the workshop results above, filmed at Barcelona’s HANGER, and overview …

READ MORE →

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 …

READ MORE →

Microsoft, Now Embracing Kinect Hacker Scene?

Microsoft appears to be taking the step some of its rivals – the likes of Sony and Nintendo – failed to do, and that’s to acknowledge that something it made has been re-imagined beyond its original purpose. The above video pretty much says it all. Remember, it might not have been this way. Aside from direct control of the Kinect hardware, the shield of aggressive intellectual property laws in countries like the United States covering reverse engineering, to say nothing of a bucket of patents, Microsoft could easily go after hackers, open source libraries, and creative misuse of their designs. …

READ MORE →

Beams of Light Meet Bodies, in Kinect-Powered Dance and Audiovisual Work

Working in 3D light projection, Dieter Vandoren has created a project that makes visual shapes and sounds from particles. Bodies interrupt beams of light, fused with audio and image via Kinect-powered tracking. First presented in Rotterdam at the Open Dans festival in June, the work draws inspiration from David Rokeby’s “Very Nervous System” computer vision, Michel Waisvisz’s “The Hands” piece, and principally on the audiovisual Polytopes and granular synthesis techniques of Iannis Xenakis. The goal, says its maker: a “spatial hyperinstrument.” (Hey, you know you’ve always wanted one of those, right?) Integration.03 at Open Dans festival 2011 from Dieter Vandoren …

READ MORE →

You Are the Lazor Music Controller: Kinect + LASERS + Ableton + Max/MSP

Matt Davis [namethemachine] is seen here with Microsoft’s Kinect computer vision / 3D camera controller, plus – stealing the show – lasers. The lasers in question are a rig by Henry Strange, which allows computer control of laser direction using the DMX protocol. (DMX is a protocol similar to MIDI – though actually a bit simpler, if you can believe that – generally associated with lighting and show control.) I could say more, but I’ll let you watch the video and ponder. The ingredients: OpenNI, the “natural interface” not-for-profit standards body and organization that allows drivers across multiple hardware (Kinect …

READ MORE →