Sunday, 3 July 2011

Xbox Kinect SDK

So the Xbox Kinect SDK released a little while back over at Microsoft Research Labs and is quite interesting. I've been playing around with it and learning some C# at the same time.

The SDK allows audio, depth, and skeletal tracking, among other things, and comes with a plethora of demos. Simply, one can have 2 active skeletons with joints labeled with X, Y, and Z axis values, as well as many values to determine accuracy of the values, smoothing of animation, and much more.

For my first project, a friend of mine (Mark Arnott) messed around just testing each data field and putting them on the screen. We managed to make it understand some gestures, such as pushing our hand towards the display, and enlarging, shrinking and moving a picture using the position and distance between our hands.

I've for some time though that a NUI would be great for a media player. I've downloaded the WMP SDK and Mark and I have managed to create some NUI controls for the WMP.

Exiting the frame will cause the media player to pause.
Saying "Rewind" when paused will cause the media player to rewind.
Saying "Play" when paused will cause the media player to play.

We are still considering other controls that would be good, such as proper gestures for volume, and maybe controls to rewind 3 seconds and begin again. The main idea is if the phone rings, or you want to go to the bathroom, or for any reason, it is mildly annoying to find the remote, push the pauses button, and then continue with what you wanted to do. Also, when no one is watching the TV or a Movie, does the thing really need to keep going?

Check out our demo here.

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