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MIT Emulates Tom Cruise With Multi-Touch Kinect Hack

| 10 Dec 2010 14:27

With the geniuses at MIT working on user interfaces we can control through the air, Minority Report will become a reality any day now.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is all over Microsoft's Kinect, having already hacked it to become a robot eye, and is now developing what it really should be working on: a fun way for us to mess with our pictures. Kinect's hacker community has created Minority Report-style interfaces for such a task in the past, but now MIT's CSAIL LIS group has taken a crack at it with gorgeous results.

One of the hack's creators, Garratt Gallagher, is shown in the demonstration video wiggling his fingers as the software picks up every movement. Each finger is recognized as separate, making this a multi-touch interface. Gallagher writes that this hand detection software can "distinguish hands and fingers in a cloud of more than 60,000 points at 30 frames per second," which sounds pretty good to me. For now, this interface is only used to manage photos.

Gallagher goes on to cycle through these photos by rotating his fingers in a circle. When he gets to a photo he likes, he grabs it and brings it to the center where it can be resized or rotated by using both hands at the same time. From there, he either smashes it to the right to save it, or bonks it to the left to evidently delete it. The final version should probably come with a confirmation prompt.

By the end, Gallagher is dual-wielding the interface like a pro to pick up and move around multiple pictures at once. He must have been going through pictures of his time with an ex, because he ends up angrily trashing the whole shebang. The interface doesn't look 100% perfect yet, as it's not as buttery smooth and the orbs that recognize fingers appear to flash on and off at points, but this is obviously an ongoing project and only the beginning. It's MIT, they'll work out the bugs.

Source: MIT CSAIL

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