Keeping an eye on pugnacious pigs

Keeping an eye on pugnacious pigs
Keeping an eye on pugnacious pigs

Notwithstanding their docile image in cartoons and literature (think Porky Pig from the Looney Tunes cartoons or Wilbur in the novel Charlotte’s Web), pigs can be surprisingly aggressive, as any hog farmer can tell you. Their belligerent behaviors become especially prominent when several unfamiliar pigs are penned together, as often happens after the pigs have…


Pumping iron with Kinect for Windows

Pumping iron with Kinect for Windows
Pumping iron with Kinect for Windows

No, you aren’t going to clean and jerk the Kinect sensor—and given its compact size, that wouldn’t be much of an exercise anyway. What you can do, with the tutorial provided by Vangos Pterneas (a Microsoft Kinect Most Valuable Professional), is build a Kinect for Windows application that will recognize your barbell and measure how…


Remix the music with Kinect

Remix the music with Kinect
Remix the music with Kinect

This spring, visitors to Seattle radio station KEXP’s new home are being treated to the ultimate air-guitar experience: as they pass through a 4,000-square-foot art installation, their movements alter the music of some of the station’s most popular artists. This innovative project—dubbed a “virtual remix”—uses Kinect for Windows to capture the visitors’ body movements. The…


Ghost hunting with Kinect

Who can resist a scary movie? Even the most jaded of us enjoy a good ghost flick, which is why we were intrigued by the latest short film in the spooky genre. But this cinematic effort purports to be fact, not fiction, and its veracity—or its plausibility—is grounded on some pretty hard-core engineering: Kinect for…


Kinect-powered rehab system gets FDA clearance

Back in June, we featured a story about Reflexion Health and its innovative application that uses Kinect for Windows to help physical therapy patients. As we described at that time, the application, called Vera, was being tested at five medical centers. Now we are pleased to report that Reflexion Health has received 510(k) clearance from…


Kinect makes programming robotic arm a cinch

What might you do with a robotic arm? Well, if you’re part of the maker community, the possibilities are almost endless. Hook it up to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi controller, and you’ll have a companion that can paint, sort objects, play games, and generally amaze your friends and relatives. All you need is a…


Kinect app for physical therapy put to the test

A year ago, during the 2014 BUILD conference, we profiled Reflexion Health, a San Diego-based software startup that had developed a promising Kinect for Windows application to track physical therapy patients’ exercise sessions. We’re now pleased to report that this application, called Vera, is being piloted by five medical centers, including Brooks Rehabilitation, one of…


Kinect sensor helps facilitate learning

We all know that children can learn from videos. But many educators have questioned the effectiveness of such learning when compared to the understanding that young children derive from working with tangible objects. In a recent paper, researchers Nesra Yannier, Ken Koedinger, and Scott Hudson at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University tested…


Encounters with Kinect

Imagine an interactive digital art performance where the audience becomes the performers and interact not just with other audience members but also with lights, sounds, and professional dancers. That’s what visitors to SummerSalt, an outdoor arts festival in Melbourne, Australia, experienced. The self-choreographed event came courtesy of Encounters, an installation created by the Microsoft Research…


Kinect comes to the aid of golfers

Virtual golfers may be eagerly anticipating the upcoming EA Sports PGA Tour for Xbox One, which is slated to include Kinect for Windows motion controls. But real golfers—the ones who actually hit the links—don’t have to wait to enjoy the golfing benefits of Kinect. They can use the power of the Kinect sensor to capture,…