Hacking away in Canada

A member of team Kwartzlab++ demonstrates his team's project VR Builder at the Kinect Hackathon in Kitchener, Ontario.
A member of team Kwartzlab++ demonstrates his team's project VR Builder at the
Kinect Hackathon in Kitchener, Ontario.

Last week, we headed north to Canada for the latest stop on our Kinect Hackathon world tour: a three-day event (August 8–10) in Kitchener, Ontario, where developers gathered to develop applications* using Kinect for Windows v2. One of the three cities that make up the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Kitchener has a booming tech community, fueled in part by the renowned computer science program at the University of Waterloo. So it was no surprise that the Kitchener attendees exhibited boundless energy and enormous creativity. Equally impressive was the hospitality of the people in Kitchener, especially Jennifer Janik and Rob Soosaar of Deep Realities, who were awesome hosts.

And the winners* are…

Team CleanSweep took first place.Team CleanSweep took first place.

  • Team CleanSweep took first place (US$500 and three Kinect for Windows v2 sensors) for their app Turtle Curling, an augmented reality version of one of Canada’s favorite games: curling. And no, it doesn’t send real turtles sliding down the ice. It uses two Kinect v2 sensors and a TurtleBot to create an incredibly fun version of this unique Olympic sport.
  • Team Christie Digitalia took second place (US$250 and a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor) for their app Projection Cosplay, which turns anyone into a virtual superhero by using projection mapping. Imagine yourself as a supernaturally endowed crime fighter, the nemesis of virtual bad guys everywhere. 
  • Team Command Your Space took third place (US$100 and a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor) with Command Your Space, an app that enables online shoppers to see how furniture and accessories will fit into real-world environments, as seen by the Kinect sensor. It can also be used with 3D scans of your own furniture, allowing you to do a little virtual rearranging.

Hard at work: members of team BearHunterNinja (left) and team Titan (right)
Hard at work: members of team BearHunterNinja (left) and team Titan (right)

Other projects* presented

  • Angry Asteroid (team Pass/Fail), a game in the style of Angry Birds that uses Kinect motion controls
  • Art Jam (team REAPsters), a kinetic, interactive, multimedia experience in which users simultaneously interact with visual art and music using the Kinect sensor’s ability to detect motion
  • BearHunterNinja (team BearHunterNinja), an app that uses Kinect’s hand-state detection to enable the classic game of “rock, paper, scissors”; also implemented a variation of the game using custom, machine-learning gestures
  • BOHAH (team BOHAH), a therapeutic video game for children with disabilities
  • Bricktastic (team Bricktastic), who adapted their 3D brick-breaker mobile game to work with Kinect and Oculus Rift
  • ConnectConnect (team ConnectConnect), which networks together multiple Kinect sensors to allow sharing and combining of all the data in the same application, enabling more than six users and remote connections
  • Florb (team Titan), an app that lets you virtually fly, using your arms as thrusters
  • GIORP 5000 (team GIORPers), a proof of concept for an interactive retail clothing shopping experience
  • Half-Life 2 Mod for Kinect (team Barney’s Crabs), a Half-Life 2 mod with Kinect for Windows that enables movement and perspective changes
  • InteractionDemo (team Connecteraction), an app that powers experiments with Kinect data from the body, gestures, depth, and color
  • Speechy (team Speechy), a public speaking “training” program that uses Kinect to give you feedback on your posture, voice projection, and use of repeated words during presentations
  • Swish (team Focus on Fun), a marketing app that virtually dresses passersby in a store’s best outfit
  • Voice in Motion? (team Ace of Base?), an app that uses Kinect for Windows to interactively teach people American Sign Language (ASL)
  • VR Builder (team Kwartzlab++), an app that lets users build accurate 3D shapes that can then be placed in the user’s immediate area

Upcoming events

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands (September 5–6): register at https://aka.ms/k4whackams
  • Vancouver, British Columbia (November 8): registration will open soon (keep an eye on our blog)

Thanks to everyone who came to the event in Kitchener. I hope to see you at another event in the future!

Ben Lower, Developer Community Manager, Kinect for Windows

Key links

*The names of the hackathon projects and teams are determined solely by the participants and are not intended to be used commercially.

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