In this first update to our article on Kinect technology we have added three new videos to the showcase and have had some reader suggestions as to how Kinect could be used.
We have three new videos in the I Programmer All About Kinect showcase and some new ideas for using the Kinect in some interesting ways.
Remember those 3D pictures that you had to look at in a particular way to see the effect? This Kinect project creates them directly from depth measurements in real time.
A multitouch pad on any surface
Using the position sensing abilities of the Kinect this project tracks finger positions and turns any surface into a touch pad.
American Sign Language recognition
You sign in front of the camera and it attempts to translate to text.
To see any of these videos visit All About Kinect. The showcase is towards the end of the article.
We also had an interesting email from Nicholas Bodley making some suggestions for Kinect applications.
"My first thought was sign language. Sign language, digitized, should require only quite-modest bandwidth Sign-language translators to text (or speech!) should be possible.
Merge dance with "virtual instruments" to create a new art form. No need for virtual instrument locations to be static, either.
Dance notation: Maybe a stock Kinect would capture, say, a ballet well enough to do most of the notation -- this is akin to machine translation, which does the routine stuff, leaving the human to polish the result."
The interesting thing is that Kinect was supposed to support sign language out of the box. To quote Microsoft's Shannon Luftis at Gamescon last year:
"Sign language is very much within the realm of possibility. There's no technological reason why sign language would not work".
Soon afterwards Microsoft withdrew the statement claiming that the resolution wasn't good enough. That doesn't seem likely. Now a project to recognise American Sign Language is underway at Georgia Institute of Technology and we have added its early video to the show case.
If you know about well advanced projects that are implementing any of the above ideas, or other interesting applications of Kinect technology, send an email to the editor.