I had a bit of a frustrating weekend working on my GIS-based game.
Some early computer vision work. Soooo good. You have to watch this.
Yeah… Moore’s law. The techniques really haven’t changed for a lot of things too much.
What will become endless nights of coding away for my new Kinect have begun.
I’ve been wanting one since hearing about a cheap, accessible 3D camera, so it was about time. Having been a long time user of the PS3 eye, it’s a natural first step. Installing the OSX drivers was a fairly painless task, though first time I’d encountered cmake.
The ever brilliant Daniel Shiffman has begun working on a set of processing libraries around the open kinect drivers, which so far capture depth and image data. After some initial struggling, I was able to get a good framerate at 640×480 for a point cloud and associate colour mapping to the points. I literally cannot wait to start at it with the openCV libraries, though whether I can stick with Processing in doing so is questionable.
All told, it was fun to hack around with the stuff last night. I’m looking forward to using it as a means of exploring gesture based interactions and specifically, some of the classic notions of “virtual reality,” as you can see in that image of me holding the world in my hand, created in only a few hours after getting the Kinect itself.
Whether we’ll be seeing a snow crash like “Street” is another matter, and I was really taken with how disorienting the act of “grasping” that sphere was. As these previously locked away technologies become more accessible, we’re bound to see some absolutely incredible stuff emerge from it simply being available. But if my struggling to grasp that orb is any indication, we’ve got a very, very long way to go.
Gender is frequently treated as a binary or “N/A” option in online forms with the purpose of collecting demographic information, analytics being the life blood of many online applications.
Freed from this need to collect information, the open social network Diaspora turns Gender in to a text field, freeing us to put whatever we want. Which begs the question: how accurate can these binary or opt out analytics be at identifying trends and behavior when they don’t account for something as fundamental and varied as gender? What else are we missing?
The Kinect as a means of altering ones visual environment is definitely a novel use for the device, and it’s incredible to see it explored by a talented artist. As computer vision speeds its panoptic advance in to public space, our environment will become filled with visual aids to computer vision techniques, allowing the categorization and sorting of the real world into addressable, identifiable objects. What began with the bar code or the scan card will become a sparkling world of lights and sounds just beyond our range of perception, but that we can still detect.
I’m reminded of the ever-present sparkle of nano-technological mites described in the world of Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. Will the lack of these things seem foreign to us in a few years time, like a natural environment with no hum of electricity?
“With these images I was exploring the unique photographic possibilities presented by using a Microsoft Kinect as a light source. The Kinect – an inexpensive videogame peripheral – projects a pattern of infrared dots known as “structured light”. Invisible to the eye, this pattern can be captured using an infrared camera.”
Yesterday I gave a short talk on the Rapid prototyping of Interaction Design for a profession development event at the University of Toronto’s Knowledge Media Design Institute. These guys are doing some incredibly interesting work in Toronto right now, so it was a surprise and an honour to have been invited to speak. I did a presentation chatting briefly about how I got in to Interaction Design from graduating as a political science specialist last year, and five principles I’ve come to apply in my use of Rapid Prototyping as a design practice.
I’m giving a short lil’ talk this Wednesday about rapid prototyping as an Interaction Designer, and what I’ve learned in the past year and a half since graduating with a Political Science specialist degree from the University of Toronto.
It’s exciting to be able to share what I’ve been learning with others entering or about to enter similar fields, and to learn from those more established (I’m by farrrrr the most junior person there). Should be a fun event, and many thanks to Margaret for inviting me to speak!
Now… to finish slides.
As we move closer and closer to a world of rapid fabrication, I can’t help but wonder how our appreciation for flaws and error will continue to evolve.