The Magic Window

It’s fascinating how a low-cost, but powerful technology like Microsoft’s Kinect, a motion sensing device primarily marketed as an addon for the video gamer’s Xbox 360 but also available for Windows computers, is being used in creative ways. Here’s one I noticed at the Georgia Tech People and Technology Forum 2012 on Tuesday called “The Magic Window.”

It’s both simple in purpose and powerful in potential. Tie a Kinect unit to a fisheye video camera with a web app to allow people look into a “magic window” for a remote tour controlled by gestures like looking the left and right. Other types of content can be embedded in the presentation to add additionl depth.

Watch Brian Davidson, Operations Manager and Principal Software Developer with the Georgia Tech Research Computer Operations Network, show how it works. (Sorry about the shifting contrast in the video; I was trying to pull out some of the detail on the monitor.)

Students and faculty demonstrated many of the projects they are working on Tuesday afternoon, which I’ve found to be the most fun part of the event. Most of the projects are far from polished and some are at a very early stage of development, but the ideas are truly amazingly creative. I expect to see many of these to find their way into real world applications in the not too distant future.