On Thursday night Twitter was just a regular place on the Internet where people were self gratifying themselves by posting and boasting. Doing so to ensure that all their followers would be overcome with envy and jealousy. That was of course until 7:38 PM when @SuperDAE dropped an image taken from what he alluded was the XBox 720 Kinect 2. In that instant, the web was a buzz of people re-posting and speculating the validity. Everyone from TechSpot.com to the Verge.com were reporting on it.
The image itself shows a pretty standard Kinect like image but IMO it is to soon to tell and speculate as to how well the unit will perform compared to the original.
In January of this year I did a company profile on eyeSight. At the time, their tech looked promising for both standard and mobile Gesture Recognition applications. Well they’re back at it again and this time they’ve set their sights on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 OS. Instead of just focusing on generic swipes and waves to control normal functions such as raising the volume on a music app or answering a phone call, the company has come up with a very novel approach to perform more advanced tasks.
They call it eyeKeys and it allows certain kestrokes to be mapped to gestures allowing users to easily control applications in a way that would not be possible before.
I’ve been considering starting some development on a similiar product so I’m encoraged to say the least. Take a look at the following video and see eyeKeys in actions.
When released the Leap will possibly be the smallest Gesture Recognition device in the market place. Smaller than the Kinect by far and even smaller than the SoftKinetic DepthSense 325 which is currently the world’s smallest Gesture Recognition device on the market.
While the video below shows astonishing capabilities without a product available to review I can’t help to wonder if the Leap will be a device that will be Leap frogging (pun intended) the competition or simply a leap of faith (ditto). Don’t get me wrong but they won’t even explain what the technology is behind the device. Could we be seeing some staged and controlled demos that are slickly shot to make us think that this is all happening so easily with just a flick of the finger? Oh by the way…Can Apple try and sue the Leap for design infringement??? That thing looks like an Apple product and I’m absolutely sure it isn’t by accident ;0)
See the video below…Pretty amazing stuff…Or is it???
Back to my point about the tech…Perhaps we’re looking at a device that’s using an advanced “Raster” pattern to track movement? Maybe they’re using Hidden Markov Models and Viterbi Path algorithms? Whatever the case may be they’re being very tight lipped and the product is only available via pre-order and is slated for a Christmas 2012 delivery. So can we be sure that it will perform as advertised. What are the downsides and limitations? Caveat Emptor!!!
Originally Microsoft announced that there would be only 10 teams selected but it turns out that they came up with 11. If you’re interested you can follow all the teams on Twitter.com and see what’s new with the Kinect Accelerator. What’s more impressive than these teams is the list of mentors assigned to assist these teams in developing the next game changing big idea in Gesture Recognition technology.
Below is the video I mentioned. Nothing groundbreaking just a nice update!
If the voice in the video sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same person who narrated the video for a Gesture Recognition device I covered in my lecture at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in January. There is a connection between these devices as Chris Harrison is a member of both of the teams; Touche and OmniTouch. I suspect the voice is his.
In case you don’t get the reference Something to Watch Over Me is a play on the title of a 1987Ridley Scott film called Someone to Watch Over Me.First let me start by saying if you’re asking yourself “Who the hell is Ridley Scott?” then you need leave this website immediately, never to return!!! Of course, that’s a joke. Anyway I digress, this film focuses on Tom Berenger’s character a NYPDdetective having to provide security protection to a female character who has witnessed a high profile murder. The movie is fairly pedestrian bordering on bad but the point of this post is not a movie review. It’s actually about a fairly interesting piece of innovation I recently came across. Abhijit Jana a .Net specialist with Microsoft, has developed a way to leverage many different Microsoft technologies to use the Microsoft Kinect as a Home Security System. As Jana explains on his Blog the concept of operations for the Kinect Security System is as follows:
“The Kinect devices will be run by a WPF application running on the PC which will look for any human intrusion. While there is no human intrusion, it will remain in “Patrol Mode” where it will upload pictures of its view on regular intervals to Windows Azure. These pictures can be monitored at any point of time through the application running on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Whenever there is an human intrusion detected the Kinect changes itself to “Intrusion Mode”; it then alerts Windows Azure and also starts streaming the video to the Smooth Streaming Server hosted on Windows Azure. The Azure notifies all the devices subscribed (Windows Phone / Windows 8 ) using a toast and will allow those application to view the live streaming. From your Windows Phone / Windows 8 app you can also control the Kinect device”.
This is absolutely terrifying if you consider how this could work within the context of a employee/employer context. However, on the other hand this does also provide a nice solution for a great deal of other applications. Besides just securing your home and personal belongings this can be utilized for hard to reach or dangerous locations where there is a reasonable need for security and access control but a diminishing incentive to risk human assets to man these types of posts.
You can read a more detailed explaination with a thorough breakdown of the architecture for this solution here.
On another note, I’m glad to be getting back in the swing of things. The break I took recently was necessitated by a number of conflicting commitments which caused me to let some priorities become deprioritized. I look forward to any comments, questions, or recommendations you have to offer.
In the same vein as Apple iTunes, iPhone App Store, and the Xbox Live Marketplace, AppSide is a marketplace for gesture recognition apps and games that work with the Asus Xtion and other gesture recognition devices. The website which went live on the 28th of February 2012 could be well poised to be the early leader in what will likely become a very crowded market in the future. According to the company’s press release “Appside’s strategy is to offer compelling gesture-controlled games and apps that work across all gesture-controlled devices (e.g., SmarTVs, Media Centers, IPTV set-top boxes)”. Using Appside marketplace, application and game developers can publish, promote, and sell their own content. Appside will also promote applications made by their software partners thus helping not only garner sales but also spreading the work across many different partner networks. They are “backed by Kima ventures, a prominent European seed fund, Wekix, a technology and new media start-up accelerator, as well as high-profile Israeli, US-based and European private investors”.
I very much like the idea of the Appside marketplace and sincerely hope it thrives as more and more people adopt early market open sourced or IPTV solutions that will be able to take advantage of this delivery format. In my opinion, Appside will really need to partner with Google to get their software pre-installed onto their Motorola Mobility cable boxes. This I feel will help them leverage a larger user base and make it easier for customers to purchase a gesture recognition device without worrying about device compatibility. This seems to have some promise but only time will see tell if Appsider will leave its mark on the world of Gesture Recognition technology.
As reported by Toronto Star Staff Reporter Niamh Scallan a PhD student at Toronto’sRyerson University in Canada is hoping to create a “comprehensive database of human gestures”. The student and entrepreneur Adrian Bulzacki hopes to have the database completed in the coming months. He’s not new to Gesture Recognition so this is a likely outcome. He’s already developed a soon to be released Xbox Kinect game based on Charades and his company ARB Labs has already gone ahead and started licensing Gesture Recognition technology. The database in its current form is said to already enable faster gesture recognition and Bulzacki forecasts that this type of speed can be helpful in security applications, which can be used in “airports, casinos, and banks”.
During my lecture at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in January I made note of the need for a standardized database for common gestures. This I feel will be crucial in creating ubiquitous cross device solutions as well as device independent software interfaces. So I’m hopeful that Bulzacki is successful in this endeavor because I feel that breakthroughs like this will be a key contributing factor to the explosive growth that will take place in Gesture Recognition technology over the next 5 years.