E3 2011 - Microsoft Kinects Us to Our Consoles - The UpStream

E3 2011 - Microsoft Kinects Us to Our Consoles

posted Monday Jun 6, 2011 by Scott Ertz

E3 2011 - Microsoft Kinects Us to Our Consoles

Microsoft didn't just show off AAA Kinect title, like Mass Effect 3 and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. They also showed off a community for project developed by Xbox owners like you; it's called Kinect Fun Labs and everyone is invited to join. Whether you are a developer interested in the Kinect platform or a user who enjoys the latest creative projects, this is the place to go.

Since the launch of Kinect and the open availability of the development tools, people all over the world have created unique ways to use the Kinect - many that Microsoft had never thought of themselves. This is why the Fun Lab was created - a centralized way to show off the crazy fun projects people have created using the Kinect.

Want to know what has already been created? Hit the break.

We had the pleasure of seeing 3 of the best implementations of the Kinect hardware demonstrated on stage. First was the People Scan. This developer was able to take a detailed, full body scan of a person and create an accurate Avatar based on their actual appearance. Can you image, no more wasting time trying to get your nose just right using just the provided pieces? Certainly puts the original avatar creator to shame. Plus, it enhances what an avatar chat might look like - direct facial and body mimicking will be much more accurate.

Second, they demonstrated Finger Tracking. This is an implementation of the same technology that allows for things like the emotion recognition. The demonstration went like this: the man stood in front of the Kinect and had his picture taken. Then, he changed positions and had his photo taken again - between the current background and his original photo of just him. He was then able to draw in front of everything, behind the first photo and behind the second, all the while staying in front of the background.

What they were trying to show off here was finger tracking, but what I was most amazed by was the layered photographs. The device was able to live crop him out of the first photo, then do it again with the second creating 3 separate layers that could be interacted with live. Very impressive.

Lastly, they demonstrated Object Capture. This is the ability to include real items into the virtual world. We saw an early implementation of this with Milo, a project from the Fable team as they were experimenting with the then named Project Natal. The woman held up a piece of paper to Milo and he took it from her and knew what was on it. This took that concept to a new level by scanning in the object and letting you interact with it directly. The demonstrator took a stuffed item and scanned it into the Xbox through the Kinect and interacted with it as if she was inside of it; all with two simple photos.

If anyone is still skeptical about the technology hiding behind the Kinect, go check out the Fun Lab, available now on your Xbox Live dashboard.

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