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Kinect Tangible Table Prototype

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the tangible-tables-are-the-best-kind dept.

Hardware Hacking 47

baxpace writes "The first open source prototype of a tangible table using the Microsoft Kinect sensor. The hack is essentially a proof of concept that can serve a multitude of purposes including a real-time analysis on urban models. The program uses the Kinect point cloud which is mapped onto a flat surface. The upper layer of the point cloud will apply a colour to anything that is placed on the table and is recognized by the Kinect depth sensor. Every object that is placed on the table is detected automatically and in turn becomes trackable."

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47 comments

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I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35193900)

Seriously? Who cares? I've yet to see a kinect device in front of me, none of my friends have one nor I intend to buy one. Is it only me or this whole kinect stuff is going out of proportion?

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35193986)

Has slashdot given up on itself?

When you zoom the page in Chrome or IE, the text spills to the right and out of the window. You have to scroll horizontally to read for every single line.

The comments are unusable, and the situation does not seem to change. There is no way to contact anybody about it.

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195062)

Delete system32

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (2)

ebs16 (1069862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194042)

it's not that big of a deal, as the technology has been around for a while. the great aspect of kinect is that the technology is now a household item, is cheap, and is accessible to home tinkerers. the games are also pretty novel.

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (1, Funny)

Latinhypercube (935707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194134)

It's you, you fucking luddite retard.

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194156)

I think a lot of the hype on /. is that MS put this out for a game system and the OSS/modding/hacking community has found a billion other uses for it far, FAR beyond the scope of the XBox, far more than MS ever even considered.

That being said, this has spawned some pretty darned nifty hacks.

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194382)

I think this stuff is cool-- not the demo itself, but the potential it offers. I could see it being used in physical therapy sessions for tracking motor function, etc.

Just because it doesn't fit in with what you do doesn't mean it's irrelevant. Not much of a sense of wonder or discovery in your parent's basement I guess. You should get out more.

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194786)

What's wrong with my parent's basement?

Re:I'm getting tired of this kinect crap latelly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35196668)

Seriously? Who cares? I've yet to see a kinect device in front of me, none of my friends have one nor I intend to buy one. Is it only me or this whole kinect stuff is going out of proportion?

What are you a retard? You think it's going out of proportion yet you havent tried it? And not only haven't you tried it you've already made the decision not to buy it? Moron.

Reactable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35193918)

This has been possible with the Reactable for some time. No proprietary hardware required, either.

http://www.reactable.com/

OpenCV (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35193936)

opencv has done object and base plane recognition and tracking for a long time and doesn't need a depth sensor, just a webcam

Where's the news? (1, Insightful)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35193990)

As far as I can tell, he's just projecting the depth (as a few color bands) on top of the table. About five lines of Python with libfreenect and OpenCV. He isn't even tracking anything, just projecting the raw depth quantized to a few layers and roughly calibrated onto the table. Seriously, there are probably hundreds of Kinect hacks more impressive than this one.

The only odd part about this Kinect hack is that he's using the ugly proprietary CodeLabs NUI drivers instead of OpenKinect/libfreenect or OpenNI/SensorKinect.

Re:Where's the news? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194188)

I'm sorry to say your comment sounds like "i didn't like this, so others shouldn't either" , I know you didn't intend that, but this is STILL news-worthy, perhaps not /. "perfect" b/c it doesn't have any....technology... ...computers.... ...futuristic vision tech... oh... wait.... I Was still impressed with this demo. Like all research, it is built upon the work of others and incrementally tweaked/improved/etc. Just because this "could" have been done before, doesn't mean it has been, and even if it has been, this is a nice presentation of what could be done with a table-top presentation.

Maybe this isn't "good enough" for you for it to be on the front of /. but my reply to that is, then do something better. Just because others happened to do some work and some others thought it was thought provoking/cool/anything doesn't mean your opinion should out vote theirs.

< end of /. rant > Been on this site for many a year and just never registered, posts like this have always irked me

Re:Where's the news? (2)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194312)

I didn't really read it like that. The GP makes a coherent argument for why this doesn't seem newsworthy - more than "I didn't really like it, meh".

The summary sounds pretty cool and grabbed my attention straightaway. If the article was actually about a hack that used the depth buffer to cluster points that move together (have consistent depth) into objects and then track them then it would be pretty cool. But really all he is doing is what the GP says - quantising the depth and projecting colours.

I would really like to see a hack that segments and clusters the depth buffer - that would be newsworthy, cool, useful and new.

Re:Where's the news? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195906)

This does seem pretty basic - project a color based on depth. If he had projected a ball onto the table, and used a couple of pencils as paddles to do a pong game, or Neverball, or something, then fine. But this seems like "Hello World" kind of stuff.

Re:Where's the news? (3, Informative)

EqualSlash (690076) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194330)

...but my reply to that is, then do something better...

Dude! you sure whom you are talking to? Marcan was the first person to hack the kinect and come up with libfreenect. In fact, he was the winner of the competition sponsored by Adafruit for opensourcing Kinect drivers.

Re:Where's the news? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195078)

This is just an example of the primary functions of the device. It uses stereoscopic cameras to determine depth of field and a common plane, by monitoring this data and differences are highlighted. It is a simple example. It's like someone who has just bought a chemistry set and made their first chemical reaction, you don't get to publish based on that but it hopefully encourages you to go forward.

Some clarification (4, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194028)

What's a tangible table? Neither TFA nor TFS say. Also, what makes a tangible table more so than the wooden one in my living room?

Re:Some clarification (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194192)

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangible_media for a bit of explanation

Re:Some clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194602)

So... erm... a less metaphorical desktop metaphor aside, what are they for?

Re:Some clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195978)

They make Microsoft cool. Seriously, you might think MS are a clueless dinosaur of a company who rely on customer inertia and anticompetitive practices to keep their market share. But in fact they designed this thing where you can 'pick pictures up off the table, and throw them onto the wall' and stuff... so they are cool and still have ideas.

Therefore, you should buy a Windows Live 7 Mobile Phone.

Re:Some clarification (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196624)

Well, metaphorical desktop metaphor aside, Tangible media is about finding new ways to interact with a computer. One of the most interesting tangible media interfaces I've seen is Siftables [mit.edu] . Siftables are computers about the size of a cookie that interact with each other. They sense when other siftables are set beside them. You can manipulate the computer by shuffling around the siftables like blocks. They have tilt sensors so that you can "pour" the effect of one siftable into another. The desktop metaphor has stood for a long time, and it is good for a lot of things. However, might there not be a better way to manipulate, say sound, than by clicking with a mouse?

Re:Some clarification (1)

porl (932021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197620)

wow, they look like fun!!

Re:Some clarification (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35197978)

Are you tired of insubstantial tables? Immaterial bureaux? Incorporeal counters? Living your life in a formless void? Mither no more!

Introducing the new Tangible Table (TM). The table you can touch!

Yet another Microsoft story? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194110)

There were enough people yesterday complaining about Microsoft stories suspiciously appearing in close succession, and it seems pretty clear now that Slashdot has become a shill for the company.

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194222)

If Google shills can masturbate on Slashdot why not Microsoft shills? I suspect a large number of those vociferous Pro-Google commenters are in someways receiving monetary benefits from Google - such as from running Google Ads on their site or other Google programs. Let them put a honest disclaimer if they are fair enough, before accusing others of being Microsoft shills. It's getting really annoying!

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194262)

It's more like continuous posting from the front page of kinect-hacks.com. I don't see any Microsoft branding or co-marketing on their site, but it's mostly filled with yet another point cloud display and some interface glue for random applications no-one cares about, pushing any quality stuff into the noise.

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194552)

Hmm...when something negative happens to Microsoft and the front page gets covered..I don't see any complaints...
I must be new here :)

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195082)

It's Yet Another Kinect Story. Which just happens to be Microsoft though really PrimeSense. You're going to keep seeing these because the functionality for the cost makes it a transformative technology.

The biggest issue with this story is that it's not really very impressive compared to all the other Kinect hacks - the real work is already done for you, so laying it on a table and doing topographic bounding box on the depth map is dead easy. But I guess the photos look neat.

Seriously, as soon as anyone makes anything cool homebrew with Move feel free to submit it. We'll be waiting eagerly.

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195140)

The SNR on this site has gotten pretty bad. Sometimes comments look like they were digested by a focus group before pasted here. I've come to realize the barrier to entry to post on this site is a computer and an Internet connection so shills and non shills alike a free to post as they please. I just don't lie to myself and try to believe this is a pure and pristine place, not like it ever was. As far as believing blindly all the posts of user experiences with brand X and eloquent posts about tribulations with Y and of course all the beautiful posts about internet moral conduct, all get taken with salt. I'm just here for the occasional funny and the more rare informative post.

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197986)

Too bad slashdot is not set up to allow community to mark shills as a group? Could we do that?

If you had a clique of others you trust, and allow them to mark posts as shill and it would reduce their score for you if you trust that clique? Sorta like moderation but for sub groups rather than moderation for the whole site at once? I guess you could use the friend-foe thing but AC would not get reduced.

And this firehose thing probably makes story posting worse and more susceptible to being gamed. But maybe it helps minimize dupes and trupes and quadrupes. Hell, I remember the good old days when our awesome editors had the same story on the front page three times. Almost like they never even looked at the site...

Of course, trolls and shills disrupt threads and derail conversations. But as long as you allow AC and recent register posting, that will be the case.

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35201406)

As far as AC's and high UIDs go people have been known to sell off longtime UIDs to the highest bidder and sometimes posting as AC is beneficial when some actual industry insider posts real verifiable info. As for cliques it would be pointless all you would have to do is register a large group of users and have them all "friend" each other making them selves the defacto Slash-Friends group speaking for the whole site. It is always best to reserve judgment and double check facts rather than giving trust to something that can be gamed. It's kinda like the tech companies relying on the DRM du-jour to make them infallible we know it never works why should we bother with the same?

Re:Yet another Microsoft story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35197164)

There were enough people yesterday complaining about Microsoft stories suspiciously appearing in close succession, and it seems pretty clear now that Slashdot has become a shill for the company.

"suspiciously"? Seriously, is that the world you live in? I know there were many Kinect haters and doomsayers on Slashdot before it was launched that probably are miffed it is such a runaway success. But be unable to se beyond ideological blinds to see that all these cool Kinect hacks are major geek/nerd material (you know, news for nerds..) that is just sad.

Slashdot is Kinect Central (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35194180)

The device in itself is not that big a deal, and many of these stories are really simple hacks, tbh. I don't see why we get 2-3 stories a day about the kinect, and Slashdot should be able to see by now that stories that only get 30 comments half of which say "this story shouldn't have been posted" should not be posted.

Re:Slashdot is Kinect Central (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194532)

Why not just say you were one of the Kinect haters when it came out and predicted mass failure, and are now angry that it's getting so much attention?

Re:Slashdot is Kinect Central (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199154)

I was on the don't-give-a-fuck list, actually. Hey, it appears I still am!

Re:Slashdot is Kinect Central (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196744)

I don't see why we get 2-3 stories a day about the kinect, and Slashdot should be able to see by now that stories that only get 30 comments half of which say "this story shouldn't have been posted" should not be posted.

Because people posting that are lazy whinging fuckwits that won't moderate the stories. Gees, it's not that hard.

Real time topographical map (2)

Memroid (898199) | more than 3 years ago | (#35194412)

This could be cool if you had a clay model of a landscape and were to simulated floods, tsunamis, etc. You could quickly mold new landscape modifications to try out. Or with a detailed enough sensor you might be able to simulate a wind tunnel (ie this pic of the Tesla Model S - http://bit.ly/Tesla_Model_S [bit.ly] ) - of course the model could only be reduced in one direction, with a single sensor (the typical drawback of a topographical map).

Re:Real time topographical map (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197950)

This is for games / toys / entertainment.

Real science simulations require a lot of backend computational power and a ton of coding / configuration. You probably spend more time on setting up parameters / boundary conditions than establishing geometry.

But it looks cool.

Not fully open source (0)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195488)

Sure the code may be open but the framework, the hardware and SDK behind the whole Kinect is NOT open source in either spirit or word. There is no way to implement the Kinect without blessing or buying from Microsoft or adhering to their patents or whatever limitations they want to apply to the system and software.

The whole SDK expects you to have Visual Studio in order to develop for it. Let me know if there is a truly open source and cross platform implementation of both drivers, hardware and software that I am free to implement in my own package without getting sued.

Re:Not fully open source (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196704)

Sure the code may be open but the framework, the hardware and SDK behind the whole Kinect is NOT open source in either spirit or word.

What framework? What SDK? So what if the hardware is not open source?

There is no way to implement the Kinect without blessing or buying from Microsoft or adhering to their patents or whatever limitations they want to apply to the system and software.

Yes you have to buy the hardware from them, who cares? They haven't applied any limits to the system and the software you use with it (the libfreenect driver) and anything you build on top is/can be open source.

The whole SDK expects you to have Visual Studio in order to develop for it. Let me know if there is a truly open source and cross platform implementation of both drivers, hardware and software that I am free to implement in my own package without getting sued.

WTF are you on about? You don't need an SDK and the libfreenect drivers were originally linux-only in fact. Seriously have you go any idea what you're talking about or are you just an anti-MS crybaby looking to have a rant?

Re:Not fully open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35196960)

True dat. I suppose he'd prefer if the kinect was manufactured by sony or apple. I really like the idea of open unpatented hardware, i suppose there is always the option to buy from the slew of other manufacturers who have invested 100 million in R&D for similar devices. I agree, it is a serious bummer that visual studio isn't cross platform, but for linux you'll have to make do, and leave that kick ass environment in windows.

Operating Theater Surgery Tools Table (1)

WebSorcerer (889656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195948)

This could be used during surgery to make sure that all tools are accounted for. It could recognize all tools and keep an inventory of all tools in use.

Re:Operating Theater Surgery Tools Table (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35196706)

Don't really need depth for that. Just use a normal camera.

Re:Operating Theater Surgery Tools Table (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35197102)

Don't really need a normal camera. Just use Nurse Betty.

The future is here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35197980)

This looks similar to Microsoft Surface that Microsoft was taking about a few years ago

The future is here... and it's a big-ass table. [youtube.com]

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