Sunday, November 4, 2012

So this is what 2 Kinects can do

After all this talk of a Kinect 2 waiting in the wings for the release of next year's Xbox Next  launch, I can't help but think that a current Kinect x 2 could well be a better option instead. Check out how accurate that the folks at 3Gear Systems seem to be coming along with their own software tools (SDK). This could provide some real benefit in the engineering, medical, and you-name-it fields. Maybe this could even make real games beyond dancing and parlor games actually playable using Kinect(s).


 Thinking back to those leaks from the Microsoft: Roadmap to Fordaleza (glasses) that surfaced several months back, it dawned on me that maybe this is more similar to what Microsoft has in mind for Kinect v2 than just a higher res camera and a closer field of vision. The roadmap is old, but maybe the 2 Kinects will indeed stay as they were envisioned here years ago.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sony also into getting AR glasses out there, tries not to be too late to party

Jumping into the fray a little late, Sony files a patent for its take on an HMD display not unlike Google's Project Glass.
Source: Engadget

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sony Debuts Wonderbook at E3, gamers et all wonder why books and games need to merge merge in the first place

In an educational augmented reality approach, Sony shows off its Wonderbook at E3 for the Playstation 3. The device uses existing Playstation Eye along with the Move controller to enrich the experience of a 12 page blank book (which has points of referance for the PS Eye to recognize). Now, I am a believer in gaming technology being used for learning but I do think that this is a very limited approach to learning. In my opinion, a book is a book and interactive games are just that. I really don't get where the two can be mixed, especially with such a limited sized book. This is basically a pop-up book for a new generation. I don't see how it would encourage actual reading, but I do love the augmented reality aspects. I could see this working much better as a side quest in an actual game, rather than a sole implementation.

Microsoft Debuts Xbox SmartGlass at E3, shatters similar offerings from rivals

The idea of Xbox SmartGlass is really a combination of things. First, it is meant to be a cross-platform input and display device from any mobile device for your gaming and TV web surfing (thanks to Internet Explorer also coming to Xbox). What is unique is that the software will extend beyond Windows 8 devices, and cater to iOS devices like iPhone and iPad, as well as Android phones and tablets. It was also demonstrated to be able to pick up a movie where you left off on a tablet or phone and finish playing from the Xbox in your living room. This kind of playback sync requires you to be playing said media content purchased through the Xbox Marketplace, which is unfortunately only available through Windows devices and Xbox 360 consoles. More information about the media can be then displayed on the phone or tablet about participating content, such as interactive maps and IMDB-like info. Pretty slick.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A couple of holographic-y type of displays shown from MS Research

First up from Microsoft Research is called TeleHuman, and it aims to display a person like they are standing right in front of you. It captures the person's image using 6 Kinect devices and projects the image onto a cylinder via a 3D projector. All of those kinect devices capture the demonstrator from every angle so you can walk around the cylinder as if it were a real person. A second team is using the same tech for its BodiPod application, where various layers of the human body can be revealed in real time. Maybe they are getting ready for an X-ray version of Kinect.

Next up is called the Mirage Table. The goal of Mirage Table is to simulate interaction with the user as if they are sitting in front of you. The tools are a curved screen that merges with the table, a Kinect capture device, and a 3D projector. This is neat and Microsoft research has done some similar things in the past, but this combines several ideas into one, more practical one. You have to use your imagination while watching the video because the interaction objects are supposed float in virtual space in front ofthe viewer. Without 3D glasses and the actual viewer's perspective, you just can't get the same effect.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Ariel TL1 simulator features the world's first 180° wrap-around screen for gaming / sumulation

Fusing three curved screens together to achieve a serious 5760×1200 resolution, the TL1 simulator from car maker Ariel (of the Atom race car on a budget fame) and Motion Simulation does a lot um, simulating. It is also adaptable for flight simulation and includes motion transducers for the seat to react to the environment. It includes all of the steering, pedals, levers, and such for your driving or flying needs. The cost for the TL1 is a measly £11,500 ($18,650). Since most of us can't afford a simulator of that price tag, feel free to go ahead and trade in your current real-world vehicle or get a financing option.

Check out the video and some more screens:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Microsoft Research "flexes" wearable EMG muscle input through patent

They say that the US government is always at least 20-30 years ahead of the rest of civilization in technology. That must put Microsoft Research somewhere right in between. What could be done with such a device?.... How about some interaction with the previous wearable HMD glasses patent? There is actually quite a bit that can be done with such sensors. How about a video from Microsoft Research and their partners back in 2010?

Video games on the brain

2 Cornell University electrical engineering students (Chuck Moyes and Mengxiang Jiang) have cooked up a way to play OG video game Pong without interacting physically at all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Google ready to share its vision of the future with your eyes

Google unveiled what it calls "Project Glass" last week, giving the public a glimpse of what life might be like with a heads up display, or HUD, delivering digital updates right to your eyeball(s) in real time. This is like the visual equivalent of having a Bluetooth hands-free mic. I'm all for having fun with augmented reality and I think that there are some potentially vastly useful work applications for such a device, but I have a tough time swallowing the pill where this thing is going to take off as a daily aide to our empty, non-cyborg lives. The device is rumored  to be called  Google Eye and is also rumored to go on sale before year's end.

Video after the break

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Microsoft's projected laser image HMD patent, smart guy makes his own Kinect VR before they do

2 stories here. The first is a patent found by the website Patent Bolt, describing either a set of glasses or helmet to be worn by a user, and a reflected laser-based stereo image to be displayed appearing in front of the user to focal infinity. What is different about this than most VR HMDs (head mounted displays), is that you can still retain vision of the real world behind the image, where most current displays cut you off completely from reality. This is not only safer but also opens up a path for augmented reality and not just virtual reality. This patent was filed in 3Q 2010 and it is somewhat similar to Apple's patent from 2008, but Apple's patent seems to not be reflective, resulting in the same closed off drawback as other designs.

More patent images after the jump. The other story is a diverging one where one crafty fellow who took matters into his own hands by creating his own Kinect VR experience by combining a PC, a Sony HMZ-T1 HMD, a Kinect, a TrackIR5 (for head tracking), and the game Skyrim.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back again!

Coming off the break, there are a couple Kinect for Windows tidbits. It was revealed last month that Kinect for Windows would release on ebruary 1st, 2012 in 12 countries (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom), at a suggested retail price of US $249. Now we hear that there is a Kinect laptop in the works, with a built-in Kinect-like camera. It only seems logical that this would happen. Check out the story over at The Daily. I'm still waiting to hear the inevitable news about an MS partner slapping one of those things atop of their HDTVs. (Cough/Samsung/Cough)