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Computing Hardware Science 

Nano quadroters in autonomous action

The University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab has been working with quadrotors from some time, demonstrating how the flying robots can be used for everything from assembling structures to flying through moving hula hoops. Back in January, they put out a video demonstrating the capabilities of their minaturized ‘nano quadrotors’ flying in formation. Vijay Kumar of U Penn gave a talk at TED 2012, and the video above goes into greater detail about the hows and whys of quadrotor development and application.  The second half of the video shows even more complex…

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Arts Featured Gaming video 

Mass Effect 3 with Kinect

YouTube video link Last week, a promotional video showing the Kinect integration in Mass Effect 3 was release. action.  The Kinect integration actually appears pretty useful, especially in the issuing of commands to the non-player teammates.  They do mention that while there is almost a second of lag while the Kinect interprets the command, it ultimately does pay off. Joystiq had some hands on time with it, and has some good things to say about it.  For example, you can point to a location and issue a move command via…

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Arts Computing Featured Film Hardware video 

Only Kinect

Media artist James George calls it “an old tourist movie from the future”. A walk down the summer streets of Barcelona recorded through a handheld 3D scanner. He was quite properly trying to avoid using a genericised trademark (like saying Xerox when you mean photocopy): he shot it using the output of a Kinect. Put to music by Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto the images become recognisable as much through their movement as their form. The two and a half minute  piece “alley posts” has been posted on Vimeo. George’s…

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Computing Featured Science 

Microsoft HoloDesk makes remote Jenga possible

There are few things in life that scream ‘from the future’ like holograms, especially interactive holograms. That’s what Microsoft Research is showing off in this video of their HoloDesk project. At the core is a Kinect and a some head tracking software working in conjunction with a see-through display. It allows users to pick up and manipulate 3D objects, including a virtualized smartphone interface, as well as collaborate remotely.

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Arts Featured Gaming 

The Gunstringer review – this duck hunts

As I do recall, the first time I set eyes on Twisted Pixel’s Kinect based game The Gunstringer I wasn’t rightly sure what to make of it. The odd little feller looked like a goofy western on-rails shooter aimed for the new-fangled Kinect. On first blush I reckoned I’d steer clear of it, but like my kin done told me, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

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Kinect sells over 10 million, celebrates with a Guinness

According to a Microsoft press release, the Kinect for Xbox 360 has sold over 10 million units, and in its short 4 month history has also sold over 10 million standalone titles. It’s a pretty impressive feat, making it the Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics Device according to Guinness (the Book of World Records, not the delicious stout).

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Microsoft Research demos smart interactive displays

Microsoft Research has put out no shortage of impressive tech demos, some which evolve into consumer products like the Kinect, and others either geared towards institutional use such as the Surface, which in some cases trickles down to consumer tech. In a recent video, Director of Microsoft Applied Sciences Steven Bathiche demonstrates some of their latest research into smart interactive displays, from “capturing light from the user to sending light to the users eyes”. Consider it a sort of mashup of Kinect and Surface, with the ability to display different…

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Kinect for Windows getting official SDK

Ever since its release in the fall, Microsoft’s Kinect has been a popular target for coders everywhere, putting the motion controller to use in applications far beyond the traitional use as a game controller. Now Microsoft has made it official, by announcing that it will be releasing an official Software Development Kit later this spring. This SDK will be for non-commercial use, and there’s no word when a commercial SDK will come out. The Kinect for Windows SDK is being developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with…

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Using Kinect and WiiMote to play Max Payne

Kinect hacks have taken on many forms since the release of Microsoft’s motion sensor. From controlling Windows 7 to using it as a collision detection system for the AR Drone helicopter, the system is proving to be pretty versatile.  Sure the term ‘hack’ may not be 100% accurate, since the device and its official software aren’t being hacked in any way, but that’s just semantics.  Demize2010, who’s no stranger to making Kinect hack enabled games, has just released his latest example. This time, he’s got Max Payne being controlled with…

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