Kinect

Flapping Toasters – Kinect, Meet 1989

Flapping Toasters – Kinect, Meet 1989

Clever hackers put together an interactive piece of art that is reminiscent of the old Flying Toasters screensaver. The artists call it a kitschy "absurdist reconstruction of the classic screensaver Flying Toasters." Become one with the winged toaster, flap your arms to flap the wings and tilt to flip your tiny silver box to roll away from danger. First off, this looks really fun. Secondly, they're already talking about turning it into a game. This is an early look into something that's going to be super fun.

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Xbox 360 Remains King in 2011

Xbox 360 Remains King in 2011

As of March 2011, Xbox 360 is and remains the number one selling console in the entirety of the United States. This is judged based on console and software sales as well as continued consumer demand for the accessory known as Kinect, aka the fastest selling consumer electronics device in 60 days in recorded history. Sounds pretty impressive, yes? Let's go through a few highlights that'll continue to make your brain melt all over the floor.

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Microsoft Research: Medical Imaging Search Engine

Microsoft Research: Medical Imaging Search Engine

Right now, we're living in a world where we look at more computer generated imagery than anything else. Doctors are reaching a critical point where the amount of medical imagery generated during something like a routine CT scan is daunting to navigate. Kenju Suzuki at the University of Chicago says, "As medical imaging has advanced, so many images are produced that there is a kind of information overload. The workload has grown a lot." Antonio Criminisi leads a group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, U.K. working on a system that will make it easier for doctors to work with databases of medical imagery. The system indexes the images generated during the scans. It automatically recognizes organs, and they are working to train the system to detect certain kinds of brain tumors.

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Kinect bringing sight to the blind, sorta.

Kinect bringing sight to the blind, sorta.

Some graduate students at Universität Konstanz in Germany put together a project based on Microsoft's popular Kinect system. Instead of using the system as a gaming controller, they take the Infrared camera's visual data from a helmet mounted Kinect and uses it to relay audio instructions through a wireless headset. This could possibly give the blind warnings about obstructions and directions at a larger distance than the current white cane and/or seeing eye dog system in popular use today. They call it the NAVI, Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired.

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Robot claw delta-robot controlled by Kinect and Arduino

Robot claw delta-robot controlled by Kinect and Arduino

One time my daughter and I were in the local grocery store and she wanted to play that game where you use the claw to pick up stuffed animals. Somehow, the stars aligned and I ended up winning two stuffed animals for her and now she thinks I can win at will, which isn't accurate at all. Some geeks have developed an interesting new robot for a project in college that reminds me of that game machine at the store.

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Kinect hacked into 3D scanner for making foam busts of users

Kinect hacked into 3D scanner for making foam busts of users

The Kinect has turned out to be something that in my house at least rarely gets used. It is a very cool device though and I continue to be amazed at some of the things that geeks are able to hack the Kinect to do. One of the latest hacks turns the Kinect into a crude 3D scanner that can turn the pose the person stands with in front of the camera into a foam bust.

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Next-Gen Windows UI previewed: Kinect, Windows Phone & bubbly tablets [Video]

Next-Gen Windows UI previewed: Kinect, Windows Phone & bubbly tablets [Video]

Microsoft has previewed a next-gen UI for smartphones, tablets and PCs, which evolves the traditional windows and icons into bubbles of information which can be manipulated with motion-tracking hardware. The video, presented by Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie, shows how gadgets like Kinect and multitouch displays like Surface can be used for more naturalistic interaction with data.

Videos after the cut

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