Our mirrors and fun virtual humans are going to be at the ASHP conference this week. http://www.ashp.org/midyear2010
The conference is at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California and should have a pretty good crowd.
Our engineer made this little demo in Processing using the currently available Kinect drivers. Rojas is using an iPad to setup different planes of interest each with their own level of detail. The processing app is sending out OSC with depth information based on the level of detail and the defined plane. The iPad app is TouchOSC.
Translated this means the iPad app is controlling the Kinect software running on the Mac Book Pro.
It has taken me about a week, but they have finally convinced me that this is a moment. I am not talking about a Kanye storming the stage moment, I am talking about a MOMENT. And I will be frank, it came from one of those companies I was least expecting to see it from. Yeah, you know who I am talking about, Microsoft. With the release of Kinect, they have launched a game changer. Not game as in the gamer sense of the word, although I can see myraid applications for such. But we are talking behavior change. A Star Trek meets Blade Runner surfing on Minority Report‘s Tron light cycle change. When we think leaps and bounds, this is what we should be thinking about. Oh yeah, and there is a good chance that Microsoft will have little to do with how it all ends up.
The gaming with Kinect will be fun, but I am not really a gamer. I played the Wii and enjoyed it, but in the end reading Steig Larsson on the Kindle is preferable for my spare time device handling. What will come out of the technology of Kinect will be a different story. As you are standing on your rug, pretending to play with animals as Microsoft portrays in the commercials others are hacking this technology to reveal ways of looking at the world that you only saw in the movies.
Check this out:
Using the IR mapping that is the basis of how Kinect works, some programmers were able to hack it and create a 3-D point cloud of the world around them using just the Kinect camera. Other programmers are doing some very cool stuff as well.
Here is object recognition using a Kinect
And check out someone using the Kinect camera to creat a gesture based multi-touch interface.
What does this all matter? Well, think of it this way, if through computer vision, we can map the world around us in 3-D space, we have exponentially increased the spaces and surface potential for interacting with technology. And when you combine, gesture, object recognition, facial recognition and other interactive technologies, you realize that you may remember this moment when things changed, when a new technology that has the power to adjust how we react to the network and each other went mainstream. This is very exciting for a marketing technology company like ours, and as well, we should also recognize that it can be a scary concept to think that the world around us can be scanned, integrated and utilized more than we have ever realized. We as marketers and technologists working in these platforms need to aknowledge this and reassure people that we are trying to enhance their connected lives, not record their every breath and blink.
Rewind to today, and we have a Kinect camera in the office and are starting to work on how we can integrate it into our SuperTouch technologies, but I felt the need to pause and share what seems to be a potential inflection point in our relationship to technology.
Want to see how the Kinect reads all that spacial data? This video shot with a night vision camera gives a hint.
Over the last month or so I have been busy assessing various hosts for our pop-up website needs. The host is a technical partner who is responsible for ensuring our products are always running and safe from illegitimate access.
In the past, and even today, a hosting company managed hundreds to thousands of servers and when a new customer wanted to go online the customer would have to estimate abstract items like server capacity and bandwidth; another decision point was whether they can share a server with other customers. That arrangement works well but it can be expensive, does not scale very well and is not appropriate for temporary server instances? The alternative is a new type of hosting environment: Cloud computing.
Cloud computing (also known as utility or on-demand) enables companies like ours to buy chunks of processing power, memory and storage space as we need it. Previous to cloud computing the determination on what size server we needed from our host was kind of like trying to buy boxes for a move. You know that you want to get more than enough boxes to package all your goods but you do not want to have too large of a surplus. Having cloud computing as an option is like having a box machine available during your move, when you need another you push the create box button and out pops another perfect box. Once your move is complete you pay for the boxes you used. What does this mean for our customers?
Cloud computing provides a lot of direct value to our customers. Cost savings is one, other less obvious benefits are:
* Data Security- Each customer has an isolated instance of our product, eliminating the possibility of one customer gaining access to another’s data.
* Quick Feature Release- Using Cloud Computing allows us to develop, test and deploy solutions like micro-sites, advergaming, on-line storage, high-performance databases and digital media distribution without interacting with in-house IT teams.
* Performance- Since each customer’s server is isolated and independent each customer is receiving the highest performing system available. With a dedicated environment for each customer we reduce the possibility of high-usage customers causing other customers to have a negative experience.
Cloud computing experience is just one technology that enables SuperTouch to repeatedly demonstrate success.