Reality, Now With More POW!

If global conflicts could add a little more Batman style POW! to their arsenal, we might not actually have so much conflict.

Oh yeah, and it’s a Kinect video.

Comic Kinect: for all those who wish life was a comic book from Maya Irvine on Vimeo.

Read more about it!

Weekly Revolutionary Linkfest

A bit of a busy week, here are just some of the augmented reality stories that happened in the past seven days:

Sometimes, you don’t need enticing narrative to create a touching AR application. “Jack in the box” by the Spanish company Sensaa is an evidence to that. Just open a box, and an augmented surprise will pop out of it. Simple, but wonderful:

Have a great week!

5 Things I Want Kinect To Do

The Kinect has become an indie revolution, open sourced and hacked to provide a wealth of effects we haven’t had access to for augmented reality.  The Kinect Hacks site is doing a terrific job covering the revolution, but I want to make my bid for what I want the Kinect to do outside its comfort zone.

The Kinect so far has been wedded to the TV, mostly because it’s a gaming device.  But the company behind the technology, PrimeSense, recently raised $50 million.  We can only suspect they’re going to turn their hot new commodity into a device that can work with more than just the PC or an Xbox.

When that product hits the market, understanding the world will be much easier for computers and therefore, will make augmented reality more advanced.  Now I know most of these ideas aren’t AR in the strictest terms (I know my friend Rouli wouldn’t deem them AR,) but they exist in the same spectrum and they’re important for the overall development of the technology.  Without better sensors, AR is doomed to stay stuck in the smartphone.  Plus, sensing the world is one-half the AR equation (see the RIM scale for more details.)

Here are five things I want the Kinect to do:

1) I want the Kinect to drive my car, at least on the highway, while I’m busy doing something else.  Google wants to do the same thing and I think the Kinect could help them.
2) Conveyance in a factory setting takes a lot of manpower and is woefully wasteful.  Utilizing cheap sensors that can see people and sense their environment would make getting widgets from one place to another easy.
3) Mapping indoor locations would allow building AR environments in your local Walmart so mapping out your shopping route can be done with a simple app.
4) Telepresence robot, 3D glasses, and a computer screen could give people with massive physical disabilities a way to explore the world around them.
5) Sensing system for the blind that could give them clues to what was happening around them.  The system could use facial recognition and whisper what it saw in your ear.

These are just a few possibilities with the Kinect sensor as it gives computers a window into our world.

Kinect: Ultra-Seven Code

I’m not familiar with the superhero Ultra-Seven, but wearing a boomerang on the back of your head seems like a bad idea.  The Kinect porn superheros can’t be far behind.  Go here for the code.

Weekly Consumer Linkfest Show

We have got plenty of augmented reality links this week, so enjoy the show:

Here’s yet another amazing AR project utilizing the power of Kinect’s sensor. Tobias Blum and Prof. Nassir Navab of TU Munich used a Kinect to overlay CT data on a person in real time, transforming a big screen into a magic mirror. It’s also a good party trick for Halloween. More info here.

Have an excellent week!

Kinect Makes Green Screens Easy

As we saw by the recent poll on Games Alfresco, the Kinect is the biggest thing in augmented reality right now.  Even since my last review of Kinect, there have been many new innovations.  Using Kinect as a real time green screen is becoming an easy reality and fast.  Dustin O’Connor has transformed his room into a smoky psychedelic head space.  I can only imagine that this setup will become the norm in tripped out raves.

The Kinect also has possibilities as an indie movie special effects tool.  Dustin alludes to this possibility:

I could see a bunch of indie type cg / video movie and effects being made with this camera. the kinect may not be as cheap as a can of green paint but defiantly does produce a similar result without the mess.

 

kinect volumetric fluid occlusion from dustin o’connor on Vimeo.

Poll – What Was The Most Significant Happening For AR In 2010?

The year 2010 was marked by many important milestones and events for the nascent technology.  Which one was more important?  If I missed one that you thought was important, just add it to the comment section.