Monday, November 5, 2012

Connecting Kinect and Android

Nothing like an app developers' congregation to see young brains at their creative best, pushing frontiers to make out-of-box ideas work. Droidcon 2012 at MLR Convention Centre on Nov 2 and 3 was no exception.

Droidcon is an international meetup on everything related to the Android operating system; and the first such gathering was in Berlin in 2009. India hosted its first Droidcon last year in Bangalore. The 2nd edition, organised by HasGeek, brought together a galaxy of app developers, visual and interaction designers, software startups, enterprise software companies, robotics and arduino wizards, kernel and ROM hackers, OEMs and platform providers, besides of course the technology enthusiasts.

Aravind Krishnaswamy, co-founder of Levitum and Program Chair, Droidcon, said the objective of the conference was to provide a platform for people to meet each other, brainstorm ideas and share knowledge. "We, in fact, encourage participants to skip sessions, so that they can meet other participants and exchange ideas. It is all about learning new things while having fun."

Allen Thomas, a young software professional working with the Innovation Lab at UST, TechnoPark, Thiruvananthapuram, was one of the participants. He spoke on how Microsoft Kinect and an Android device could be used to help two people interact with each other (pictured below). His premise was that the gesture-recognition features of Kinect could be made use of to develop applications that give more value to interactions among different users.

 

To demonstrate this, he devised a captivating game of swatting a fly. The movement of the fly is controlled by one of the players using an Android device. The other player, who is tracked by Kinect, will have to swat the fly using his hand. With more Android devices, more flies could be added to the game. Thomas said the big challenge was to ensure that there wasn't data transfer loss between the two systems.

There are many user-end applications for Kinect, one of them being the virtual dressing room. You would no longer have to undress many times to try on new clothes. By standing in front of a Kinect sensor and by waving your hand, you can virtually try out new outfits. Kinect has also proved to be a great education tool in classrooms. Teachers could engage their students better this way than with the chalk-and-board approach. Some of the other daily-life applications of Kinect-based systems are for physiotherapy and and market research in department stores.


(Crossposted from Kaleidoscope)

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