Friday, 4 March 2011

Xbox Kinect

I've always been very interested in Natural User Interfaces. I've frequented the NUI Group, and have studied various ways people have created and used NUIs.

Recently, I've purchased the Kinect, and anyone that is interested in playing around with it before Microsoft releases it's Drivers and SDK, there is a great tutorial over at Brekel to set things up with temporary drivers. Anyway, I've been very interested following people's Kinect projects as well as Microsoft's development. I've talked to professors about doing a course on NUIs and it appears they may try it next semester.

I've been planning on working on a interesting but simple project with the Kinnect. So I thought I'd outline an idea I have here...

I think this is a great idea, and if it's not being worked on, I'm sure it will be done soon. I want to create a NUI to a Media player. I've chosen a media player, because the controls are quite simple, and also because it is something that people don't necessarily want to use an interface to use. Let me paint you a picture.

You are watching your TV, there is a knock at the door/phone rings/gotta pee, you get up and deal with it. Because you got up and walked away, your TV pauses it's program. You return, and wave your hand and it starts again, rewinding 3 seconds.

You didn't need to find the pause button, you didn't need to rewind it when you got back, you just got up, left, returned and watched.

I intend to do quite a bit of research on what people think is "Natural". I'd also like to include American Sign Language.

Controls would include:
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Stop
  • Fast Forward
  • Rewind
  • Skip Forward
  • Skip Back
  • Volume
 I would possibly include a menu and navigation system, as well as file navigation, but for the ground work it would be tailored to the simple media controls.

NUIs definitely has quite a future a head of it, and I intend to get on the wagon early. I highly recommend any student that has even the slightest interest in creating a NUI should pick up the Kinect, especially once Microsoft releases it's Drivers/SDK this spring.

Have fun!

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