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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Microsoft Embraces Open, Creative Coding: New Kinect openFrameworks, Cinder Integration

It’s not overstatement: the Kinect has changed vision on computers. It’s made a range of techniques more accessible and affordable, it’s spread what were once laboratory ideas into millions of homes, and it has gathered a swath of artists and inventors to using vision who never had before. But in the process, that open source world has changed Kinect – and Microsoft. No more do we need a bounty to hack Kinect. Now, Microsoft and the open source community can work together. Microsoft Open Tech is now embracing openFrameworks and Cinder, two fully open-source frameworks for creative coders and artists:

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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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Responsive Kinect Dancing Goes Hip-Hop [Video, Tips]

Body mapping and dance/visual fusions are still explored only in fits and starts, compared to the extent of live music and visual performance in other media. So, it’s encouraging to see this latest experiment from dancer Christian Mio Loclair. Working with Microsoft’s Kinect, the slowly-undulating tendrils of visuals behind him create visual counterpoint for headstands and hip-hop dance techniques. Far from running up against latency, here there’s a sense of visuals that answer the moves with a slow sigh, creating a kind of living architectural space behind him. The tools: ofxOpenNI and ofxCV work with OpenFrameworks to analyze imagery from …

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How-To: 3D Camera Tracking Tutorials, No Pricey Software Needed [Voodoo + vvvv, Blender]

Matching a 3D scene to video footage with a moving camera — it used to be that performing tasks like this required expensive commercial tools. Now, you can use vvvv – free for non-commercial use – and a free research project called Voodoo Camera Tracker. Or, on the open-source side of the coin (including commercial use), you can use Blender. vvvv we’ll talk about more this week, as the visual programming language just celebrated its 10th anniversary with an arty party in Berlin. Voodoo Camera Tracker is worth mentioning, too – the work of the Laboratorium für Informationstechnologie, University of …

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Message in a Bottle: Latest White Kanga 3D Mapping Wonder

The Bottle from White Kanga on Vimeo. Part of the pleasure of writing daily is, while it may seem dangerously easy to become caught up in the moment, you get to watch as work iterates. Like those diaries they sell to proud parents, you can mark as a baby grows up. And the work of Poland’s White Kanga just keeps getting better. The ingredients, as we’ve covered before, are TouchDesigner, a moving camera, and tracked motion, combined with projection mapping. It’s just with a bottle, they look even more damned cool. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in.) Now, can …

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Augmented Dance, in New Daito Manabe Music Video for Nosaj Thing

Dancers become canvases for animated geometries, spawning abstract flurries of shapes and particles above them, in the computer vision-driven choreography in Nosaj Thing’s new video “Eclipse/Blue.” The dance seems perfectly calibrated to Nosaj Thing’s dreamy, polished production and the delicate vocals of Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead). This is not Kinect – it just isn’t fast enough. Daito Manabe uses the Point Grey cameras, which operate at higher speeds. To me, oddly, some of the most beautiful moments come toward the end as the dancers become darkened silhouettes. To their credit, Daito Manabe and creators directly acknowledge the work that inspired …

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Google Maps, Brought to Life, as Human Movement Occupies Digital Space

As ubiquitous in our lives as the digital landscape of sites like Google Maps can be, they’re in some sense private space. They strip our world of human beings (or freeze them in strange, invasive shots taken by roving vans), and put that space in the exclusive hands of private publishers. (Or, at least, one beginning with the letter “g.”) That has helped the groundswell of interest in OpenStreetMaps as an alternative. But looking deeper, we’re reminded of our role in physical and imagined space and what mapping itself can mean. A film by Roel Wouters takes a creative approach …

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Total Immersion: Projection Mapping + Tracking for PS3 Shots, Like Pure Magic

We’re living in an age of the Neo-Baroque/Neo-Rococo, in which technique creates marvelous illusions, when technique and thought can create dazzling effects. And as the technology matures, that work begins to evolve genuine playfulness. It’s not enough to see the novelty: that novelty is now conveyed through real wit. At least, I feel fuzzy, optimistic thoughts like that when I look at work like a series of spots for the Sony PS3. Friend-of-the-site Memo Atken is involved, alongside FND and Flat-e, with the wonder, mixing real-time projection mapping with head tracking and camera tracking (both at once) for a sort …

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