Kinect fun.

Well, I finally solve a problem I’ve been working on all summer (when I’ve had a few moments to fiddle around with it). And by solve, I think I’ve found a workable solution that will let me finish it to an okay standard.

Part of my research right now involves using the Kinect. I’ve never owned an Xbox and I’ve only played with a Kinect a couple of times in the past, and not in any detail. I had seen a presentation on them a few years ago and about how they attempt to map body movement and all that (looked cool). However, I had also read the articles talking about the death of the kinect and how much people hate it. And once I started to use it, I was mostly in agreement with those people.

I needed the kinect to capture my head movement. And yet, it decided to ignore my head and act like I had a headless body. It would pay attention when I waved my arms up around my head. But it would not move my head. If I started to turn in a circle, it would eventually freak out, because hey, a body can’t turn 360 without moving the head, and my head apparently hadn’t moved.

Through the university we have a connection to someone working on a project related to the kinect and we reached out for help. I was told to try different types of clothes and no collars and no hoods. Different materials would reflect differently with the sensors. I did that. I tried changing the lighting conditions. I put my hair up, I left my hair down. Nothing was working.

My supervisor suggested I draw vertical lines on my face (or horizontal, or checkered). I was about to do that, when I saw an almost neon orange baseball cap (free from an event) sitting on my wooden giraffe (where else would you put it?). I put it on, and it started to sort of pick up head movements. I rotated it slightly to the side and now it was almost clearly picking up the movement. It looked like it was capturing enough, that I will be able to actually move ahead on experiment without having to redesign it.

Of course, this only appears to work for now (I haven’t tested all the cases I need to implement). So I’m still going to meet with my supervisor and go through our list and see if any of them could possibly be changed so I have an alternative if I run into issues going forward.

But, for now, it’s a bit of a relief that finally something is working.


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