Dr. Ram Ramamoorthy, Assistant Professor, who heads the Robust Autonomy & Decisions Lab at the School of Informatics in The University of Edinburgh has developed a Humanoid robot which can play “Rock-scissors-paper” game using Artificial Intelligence. Reports suggests that it will take on humans and can make out the opponent’s strategies as it plays. As reported by TOI, Rock-scissors-paper is a hand game usually played by two people, where players simultaneously form one of three shapes with an outstretched hand. The rock beats scissors, the scissors beat paper and the paper beats rock. If both players throw the same shape, the game is tied. The robots which are approximately two-foot-high are programmed in such a way so that it can able to recognize the hand gestures performed by humans using Microsoft’s popular motion-sensing input device “Kinect“ which is primarily developed for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs. Apart ...

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Microsoft today released its Kinect for Windows SDK for v1.7. The updated SDK brings in support for Kinect Fusion and many updated APIs, Samples, and DLL Details. Regarding Kinect Fusion, KinectFusion provides 3D object scanning and model creation using a Kinect for Windows sensor. The user can paint a scene with the Kinect camera and simultaneously see, and interact with, a detailed 3D model of the scene. Kinect Fusion can be run at interactive rates on supported GPUs, and can run at non-interactive rates on a variety of hardware. Running at non-interactive rates may allow larger volume reconstructions. Download it here from Microsoft. ...

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Technet reports that the Kinect has found a use outside of simply games. Alex’s place, a Miami clinic treating children with cancer and blood disorders, is using the gadget to run interactive screens to entertain and distract children, and also help with their assessment. "As soon as they walk in, technology is embracing them," said Dr. Julio Barredo, chief of pediatric services at alex’s place in The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Health Systems. Created by Snibbe Interactive, Character Mirror’s goal is to help reinforce patients’ mind-body connection with engaging play and entertainment, as well as to potentially reduce their fear of technology and the treatments they face. As an added benefit, nurses can observe a child’s natural range of movement during play and more easily draw out answers to key diagnostic questions. "I find the gestural interactive experiences we created for alex’s place in Miami among the ...

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We are pretty used to Kinect being used in motion capture of gross motions like that of limbs, but EPFL Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory has now also managed to extract fine facial motions from the camera data. The technology called Faceshift pulls data from the camera and uses a predictive model to match the stream with facial expressions.  The company has already released an SDK targeted at animators and game creators and the company is already awaiting the next version of the Kinect, which will allow even finer and more accurate expressions to be captured. Read more about the technology at Faceshift.com here. Via The Verge.com ...

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Coca Cola is running a great promotion in Korea, where they have a high tech vending machine rewarding good dancers with free cokes. Passers-by in shopping malls are challenged to repeat the moved of South Korea’s ultra popular boy band, 2 PM, and their success is measured by a hidden Kinect camera. The closer you come to perfection, the more likely you are to win a free Coke. The challenge seems to be drawing the crowds, if the video is anything to go by, and the machines may make their way to other locations, so look out for the beckoning dispenser in your local mall. Via Inquisitr.com ...

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Elliptic Labs has demonstrated new technology which will bring touch screen control to laptops without the need for a touch screen, or even touching the screen. The Kinect-like system uses ultrasound and multiple microphones, and offers a wide field of view and better responsiveness than Microsoft’s system, and could be integrated into tablets and smartphones in the future. "The really big difference is you can do a lot of things with Windows 8 much more naturally," Morhan Kjolebakken, product manager for the company said. The app debuted with control gestures for Windows 8, but the company is also offering a SDK for developers and manufacturers to integrate the technology into their products. The device is expected to hit the market in 12-14 months. Via CNET.com ...

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Although rumours of the integration of finger tracking in the Original Xbox 360 Kinect were seemingly just rumours, Kinect users expect the feature to be included in future Windows devices. Microsoft researchers are attending the User Interface Software and Technology symposium to advertise their new invention- Digits, which is a wrist-worn sensor which accurately tracks finger movements- meaning there is little to no lag, which also requires no gloves.  However, the motion capture device is not being used for games. The inspiration for Digits stemmed form the Kinect, because Microsoft desired to create ‘natural 3D interactions with bare hands’, although the Kinect was slightly too limited to do this in the way in that it is not mobile and does not have the precise detail required to track the motion of individual fingers.  To realize their plans, Microsoft created a wrist-mounted device which includes an infrared camera and laser to ...

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Microsoft has revealed plans for an updated version of the Kinect for Windows runtime and software development kit, which includes support for Windows 8 as well as virtual-machine environments that run Windows. Arguably, the most impressive feature of the Kinect for Windows is the updated SDK, which enables colour camera settings and extended depth of the technology’s 3-D skeletal tracking capabilities to distances of greater than 4 metres, and objects as close as 40cm in front of the sensor, without any loss of accuracy or precision.  The sensor’s infrared stream is exposed in the API, therefore developers would be able to use IR when calibrating other colour cameras to the depth sensor or capturing grey-scale images in dim-lighting.  Moreover, the Kinect for Windows sensor now works when running in VM environments, available from: Microsoft, VMWare and Parallels. "Running inside of a VM will mean potentially the ability to be used ...

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OmniTouch allows interactive multitouch applications  on any everyday surfaces, whether its a wall or a notepad or even hands, arms or legs!  In addition to the projection system being depth-sensing, there is no instrumentation of the user or environment, allowing it to be used by anyone in any environment with no hassle. Furthermore, a wide variety of interactions are enabled- so you can ‘click’ or hover your fingers over the interactive area to command the OmniTouch.  The technology is being developed by Microsoft Researcher Andrew Wilson who will be demonstrating it live during the Verge Show (as shown below). It is clear that the technology needs much miniaturisation, but with smartphone based Pico projectors one can imagine this interface could eventually find some application in the real world. Via research.microsoft.com ...

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Kinect for Windows team today announced that the Kinect for Windows hardware will be coming to China on Oct-6th and will be available in six additional markets later this fall: Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, and Poland. Also the team is releasing Kinect for Windows SDK update with the following enhancements on Oct-6th. Enable businesses to do more with Kinect for Windows We are committed to opening up even more opportunities for the creation of new end user experiences. We’ll be adding features such as expanded sensor data access—including color camera settings and extended depth data—to continue to inspire innovative uses of the Kinect for Windows technology in new and different places. Improve developer efficiency We continue to invest in making our platform easier and more powerful for developers. That’s why we’ll be releasing more tools and samples in October, such as a new sample that demonstrates a “best ...

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Microsoft today announced a permanent price drop on Kinect sensor for Xbox. The new reduced price will be $109.99 in US. There will be also a permanently reduced price in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific regions where Kinect is sold. On October 4, the Kinect sensor will be available for a permanently reduced price in Australia and New Zealand. Microsoft also specifically mentioned that there will be no price drops in EMEA and Japan regions. With the sales of the whole gaming industry in general is falling down, price drops of this kind should boost sales to some level. Source: Major Nelson ...

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As announced few months before, Microsoft today released its Kinect for Windows SDK v1.5. The new SDK version features many new items such as Skeletal Tracking, Face tracking, Seated Skeletal tracking and other improvements that will allow developers to create apps on Kinect more accurately and easily. Changes since v1, The Kinect for Windows v1.5 SDK, driver, and runtime are 100% compatible with Kinect for Windows v1.0 application binaries. As of this release, the SDK has been divided into a core SDK and a developer toolkit. These are two separate installs. Kinect Studio is a new tool which allows you to record and playback Kinect data to aid in development. For example: A developer writing a Kinect for Windows application for use in a shopping center, can record clips of users in the target environment and then replay those clips at a later time for development and test purposes. Skeletal ...

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The reports about Microsoft offering Xbox 360 under contract seems to be true. You can now buy a Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect for just $99 under two year contract. The contract for two year would require you to pay $14.99 for Xbox LIVE gold subscription. This is a great deal for a family looking for an entertainment hub. The offer so far appears to be only at Microsoft brick and mortar stores, but you can expect them soon via other stores as well. Find it here from Microsoft Store website.  ...

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After the release of Kinect for Windows hardware and SDK, Kinect for Windows team is hard at working on their next release. The v1.5 of Kinect will come with many new features.  Among the most exciting new capabilities is Kinect Studio, an application that will allow developers to record, playback and debug clips of users engaging with their applications.  Also coming is what we call “seated” or “10-joint” skeletal tracking, which provides the capability to track the head, neck and arms of either a seated or standing user. What is extra exciting to me about this functionality is that it will work in both default and near mode! In addition to the features, Kinect for Windows availability will be expanded to Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates with support for voice recognition of French, Spanish, ...

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Today Microsoft announced through various media outlets that new Xbox LIVE videos apps are releasing today on Xbox 360. Those apps include Comcast Xfinity TV, HBO Go and MLB.tv. All these apps will feature the familiar Xbox Metro UI with Kinect integration for basic controls. The main thing that comes with all these apps is their content so that you can spend time on your Xbox for watching videos than playing games all the time. via: Engadget ...

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Microsoft released its commercial version of Kinect for Windows SDK last month along with a new hardware. Since then many companies have come up with many apps, but this one is really cool. Up to 40% of clothing purchased both online and in person is returned because of poor fit, so to solve this problem Kinect was used in retail solutions. During Bloomingdale’s Denim Days, March 15 – 18, customers will be able to get their body mapped, and also become a Bodymetrics member. This free service enables customers to access an online account and order jeans based on their body shape. “We’re very excited about bringing Bodymetrics to US shoppers,” explains Suran Goonatilake, CEO of Bodymetrics. “Once we 3D map a customer’s body, we classify their shape into three categories – emerald, sapphire and ruby. A Bodymetrics Stylist will then find jeans that exactly match the body shape of ...

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