MIT making fan boys dreams come true.

14 Apr

And everyones arms really sore in the process.

One of my new favourite toys is the Kinect. It’s ability to track the human form and indivual parts of the skeleton like hands and even fingers in some cases, is utterly mind blowing.

It’s something that myself and my tutor Adam Martin have been wanting to do for years now but have had to make do with the pathetic on comparison attempts that a humble webcam can offer in return.

Many years ago, Steven Speilberg had a dream, that dream was to give every geek in the world huge biceps and the an entirely gesture driven computer interface.

Now, in 2011, that dream has finally been realised.

There are so many problems with the basic idea behind a gesture driven interface. Mainly the fact that the average persons arms get tired of holding themselves up after a few minutes.

But, the ability to track the human hands and form isn’t silly at all.

Having a way to interface between the human body and how it is reacting to something that’s infront of them is very handy indeed, especially for interactive artists.

Now we can create very passive interfaces that just sit in the background and help out in daily tasks. Like my previous post about mind control, my stance is that these interfaces should be very passive and should never be the main input. These things just arnt built for the main input since they require a lot of stress on parts of our body that we just do not use enough in that way to put stress on.

Keyboard, mouse and touch is what is tried and tested. Thats fine, we as humans need that physical reaction of touching things. We need to be able to know that we have done something right, and the fact that we get the feedback through button clicks and screen taps is that little psychological buzz that rewards us when we do our daily computing activities.

Waving our arms around like fools just doesnt provide us with this same level of biological feedback and so cannot be used as a reliable, everyday input.

It can be used in exhibitions, large spaces and performances. A stage performance where you move you hand and lights are focused where you point is like magic. Magic and wonder keeps our imagination alive.

Anyway, MIT have come up with a way to use the kinect to track finger gestures to control a computer interface, just like in the film Minority Report.

This is a horrid use of the kinect and is just something that we need to get out of our geeky systems now so that we can all move on and actually do something half decent with this little black magic camera box that microsoft have brought to us.

Come on guys, we can come up with better ideas than a nine year old sci fi film cant we? I mean we’ve moved on so much since then.

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