Year 2: Concept and Realise (Research)

Kinect Hack Creates Actual 3D Telepresence

Microsoft Kinect hacking just got a little more interesting. There are tons of Kinect hacks now out there since the gaming accessory’s release last year, but none of them achieve a 3D effect without the need for types of tracking. However, a professor and student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Computer Science department have created a way of making this happen.

Computer Science student Andrew Maimone created the 3D hack for his paper (overlooked by Professor Henry Fuchs) by setting up four Kinect sensors to capture the same images from different angles. Then, using a particular algorithm and GPU filters (for hole-filling, rendering etc), the images can be merged into one 3D image. For video, the cameras go through a number of steps, such as hole-filling, coloring, and quality before meshing the for the final 3D overlay.

Although the hack still looks a little rough, it certainly paves the way for a whole different aspect of creating cool Kinect hacks without the need for adding reference points. Check out the video below to see how the 3D Kinect looks, and keep checking back on Andrew’s hack’s page to see his full paper soon.

Microsoft research: Kinect allows 3D screen without glasses kinect newsMicrosoft is researching ways to show 3D by using the Kinect sensor

Microsoft is doing everything they can to use their Kinect technology to the fullest. It seems thatMicrosoft research is currently busy developing a technology that allows for 3D televisions that do not require glasses!

This is not something new of course, as currently there are some screens upcoming (including the Nintendo 3DS) that allow you to view 3D without glasses, but this new technique by Microsoft is a lot better than that. Want to know why? Then read on!

3D effect without glasses with Kinect!

So the smart people at Microsoft research are working on a couple of techs that involve 3D and Kinect. The first of these is making the 3D effect possible by means of head tracking and a special kind of display. By using Kinect and this display a user can get the 3D effect without wearing glasses! The Nintendo 3Ds and some other upcoming screens can do this too, but these screens work with sweet spots, whereas the Kinect way does not!

With the sweet spot technique a viewer has to be directly in front of the tv, or in a specific angle from the tv. If you are not in one of these sweet spots the 3D effect is lost. This is where Kinect comes in: Kinect can track your head, so it knows where you are and can give you the 3D effect at any position. Every position becomes a sweet spot! It’s actually pretty revolutionary!

Virtual reality and Head tracking

The other technology that is shown is virtual reality by means of head trackingKinect tracks your head and moves ‘what is on the screen’ accordingly to your head movements, giving a pretty cool 3D virtual reality effect.

Microsoft research video

So how does it all look in the current state? Well Microsoft research is working on it but it’s not really been made into a final product yet. But in the video below it’s all pretty well explained. Check it out!


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