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Thread: Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Controller

  1. #1
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    Default Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Controller

    The current edition of the BBC program 'Click' has an interesting article on interfacing the new 'Kinect' controller with a PC.http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/tv/b00w8kxc

    During the program, the distance / 3d sensor is shown in operation using an IR-sensitive camera, and it's obvious that it's an IR laser, projecting through what I assume is a diffraction grating to produce a grid of dots. I believe that this type of projection is known as 'Structured Light' and is already in wide use in the computer vision systems used in production engineering.

    Despite Microsoft's initial objections, Marcan http://exophase.com/19592/marcan-hacks-kinect-releases-open-source-driver/ has already released a 'C' library for the PC, and there are a burgeoning range of applications being found for this interesting piece of hardware. - see http://groups.google.com/group/openkinect/about

    and http://openkinect.org/wiki/Main_Page

    Such a relatively cheap 3D sensor and camera would make an interesting input device for laser control software, for example allowing projection of a beam that followed the outline of a dancer - or several dancers.

    As all this is new to me and I haven't yet got my hands on one to play with, but I shall be watching the developments with interest.

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    Might also be an interesting device for a Laser Harp.
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  3. #3
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    I want to see someone make this become the controller for a live performance system. Can you imagine not having to have a keyboard or mouse and just wave your hands to change the show... I think i'll talk to my friends at microsoft to see what could be done...

  4. #4
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    Another use that comes to mind is to generate an automatic attenuation map - the depth sensor seems ideal for this, could be a great safety aid.

    Would also be great to have a show that automatically reacts to audience gestures, e.g. a virtual beach ball that the audience could bounce around from hand to hand, a plane that tilts between 2 hands; the possibilities are limitless.
    Last edited by greenalien; 11-27-2010 at 02:15.

  5. #5
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    Good idea but it couldn't work as a safety device live, only for setting up, as I think the reaction time would be way too slow for a live safety device bearing in mind that eye damage can occur in a few thousandth of a second and the kinetic device would have to sense the person in the zone, process it, output the image to an interface to send it to the laser, have it received at the laser, process the signal, trigger a rezoning in the software or a shutter in the projector both of which then have their own delays in operating.

    However for setting up could be a good device.

  6. #6
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    Look for the Kinect device to be integrated into a version of LaserCam near you

  7. #7
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    By the way, I just measured mine and that thing is putting out about 75mW of IR (dispersed with a grating) from the projection aperture. So don't put your eye against it. The IR laser diode is TEC cooled. These things have some nice technology for 150 bones.

  8. #8
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    believe it or not, it's a really fun way of gaming to! =) works great!

  9. #9
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    The laser diode isn't TEC cooled, it's TEC stabilized for wavelength stability. At normal room temperature, the TEC is actually heating the diode. As far as I can tell they do this because factory calibration of the diffraction pattern is critical (even minor changes in the alignment between the IR cam and the IR laser screw up the depth processing) and the pattern would shift if the wavelength changes.

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