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Entries in Kinect (16)

Monday
Aug052013

Computer Vision Meets American Sign Language 

For millions of people worldwide, sign language is their primary method of communicating with other people. And now, thanks to Microsoft Kinect, they'll also be able to 'talk' to computers.

Researchers from Microsoft Research Asia are collaborating with colleagues from the Institute of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences to explore how Kinect’s body-tracking abilities can be used to recognize sign language. Results have been encouraging in enabling people who use sign language as their primary language to interact more naturally with their computers, in much the same way that speech recognition does, according to the Microsoft Research blog. (To see the research in action, check out the video.)

Kinect's 3-D trajectory matching capabilitieshave made it possible to translate sign language into text or speech and to guide communications between a hearing person and a deaf or hard-of-hearing person by use of an avatar.

Guided by text input from a keyboard, the avatar can display the corresponding sign-language sentence. The deaf or hard-of-hearing person responds using sign language, and the system converts that answer into text.

...

“We believe that IT should be used to improve daily life for all persons,”  says Guobin Wu, a research program manager from Microsoft Research Asia. “While it is still a research project, we ultimately hope this work can provide a daily interaction tool to bridge the gap between the hearing and the deaf and hard of hearing in the near future.”

So far, the technology only supports American sign language, but it will be expanded in the future as research continues.

Tuesday
Mar122013

Kinect is Bringing Augmented Reality to Brain Surgery

This video demonstrates a fascinating opportunity for using Kinect's augmented reality to help neurosurgeons perform complex brain surgeries. It's an exciting idea for these doctors, who face the challenging task of taking 2-D information and applying it to ... well, a human head.

Now, just imagine these capabilities with Google Glass? Oh, the places medicine will go!

 

Monday
Jan302012

World's First '4-D' Theme Park Opens in South Korea

Move over, Disney. The traditional theme park just doesn't cut it anymore.

Today's world demands even more interactivity for guests. Hence, the world's first "4-D" theme park: Live Park in South Korea. Live Park uses RFID and augmented reality technology to engage guests in a series of 65 attractions (that are actually 3-D).

D'strict, the interactive technology company that constructed the park, created its seven distinct stages using a huge array of RFID technology and Microsoft Kinects. As you see in the video, there's a lot of variety to the different attractions. In some, the Kinects enable guests to interact with augmented reality characters and holograms on huge screens and stages. In others, the guests create their own avatars, which interact with Live Park characters.

Over the next few years, D’strict plans to open similar theme parks in China and Singapore.

Wednesday
Nov232011

Hello Kinect for PCs, Goodbye Mouse and Keyboard?

Microsoft announced just a few weeks ago that Kinect for Windows will be finalized in 2012; since then, there's been a lot of speculation about what that means for desktop PCs. Now, the company is confirming that it's working on Kinect for PCs.

New developments will enable Kinect to detect movements as close as 50 cm to the PC screen--instead of across the living room.

While the possibilities are great, we're most excited about the prospect of a mouse- and keyboard-free future. Bring it, Microsoft!

Monday
Nov072011

Microsoft Working Toward Star Wars-style Augmented Reality Projectors

Any true Star Wars fan remembers it fondly: That intriguing holographic message from Princess Leia in A New Hope. It raised so many questions: Who is she? Who is Obi Wan Kinobi? And when are we going to be able to send holographic messages?

Surprisingly, that capability may be close at hand. Steve Clayton, the creator of a Microsoft research lab, began working on augmented reality projectors as a way to furniture shop--after all, the best way to decide on a new sofa is to see it holographically displayed in your living room. 

Sure, the technology has a long way to go before we're beaming ourselves into each other's homes for a quick chat. But it's still pretty fascinating: Using Kinect technology, the researchers are able create a virtual version of the real world, with back-and-forth interactions between the two. Check out the video to discover how they're doing it.