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Grab to click coming to Kinect for Windows soon

by Mark Tyson on 7 March 2013, 11:00

Tags: Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360, PC

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Microsoft research has been working on refinements for the Kinect motion tracking hardware and software that could have a very big impact upon the peripheral’s utility. Currently the Kinect system only sees the hand as a “point” but recent work by the research team has implemented open and closed hand states. The new hand state recognition will allow better interactivity with a UI, simulating a left click or grab interaction.

Beyond showing us the concept and how it works the Microsoft researcher also demonstrates the use of the new grab gesture to work in Windows 8’s Fresh Paint and Maps apps. Within the Fresh Paint app the researcher could work quite naturally, painting with hand movements, picking brushes and colours. A few more possibilities were shown in the Maps app; the researcher used multi-touch twin hand gestures to zoom around, rotate and manipulate the map.

The Verge has a hands-on demo playing with the new Kinect facilities in their own video, taken at TechFest in Redmond this week. The technology magazine also informs us that “An updated SDK, due in the coming weeks, will open this functionality up to pave the way for gestural equivalents of the mouse click”. These refinements are only being targeted at Kinect for Windows at this time.

Microsoft aims to eventually shrink the Kinect down so that it can be inserted into mobile devices. Already a “thinner and smaller” re-designed Kinect sensor has been spotted but whether it was a fully realised Kinect 2 couldn’t be confirmed. Whatever Microsoft is planning it better improve its size and pricing combination if the Leap Motion, due to launch in less than a week, lives up to its promise.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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That makes it a tempting addition to a Windows 8 based media PC. Hopefully it can be controlled while sitting on the sofa rather than standing up!
HEXUS
The new hand state recognition will allow better interactivity with a UI, simulating a left click or grab interaction.

If the Leap Motion does live up to its promises, recognising a single click and/or drag seems light years behind the 10 point/finger tracking and gesture recognition LM is promising. My understanding was that Leap Motion was also promising user definable gesture recognition, but my memory might be wrong on that.

HEXUS
Whatever Microsoft is planning it better improve its size and pricing combination if the Leap Motion, due to launch in less than a week, lives up to its promise

I thought it was a 13th May launch date, not March. Here's hoping you guys are privy to to a change in the launch date!
Sorry I boobed, it is definately 13th May not March… :Oops: https://www.leapmotion.com/
I thought it was a 13th May launch date, not March. Here's hoping you guys are privy to to a change in the launch date!
Currently the Kinect system only sees the hand as a “point” but recent work by the research team has implemented open and closed hand states.
Actually I tend to use a kind of open/close hand gesture since it seems to get the Kinect to recognise better in some circumstances. Although that leaves me open to some leg-pulling … “why is dad waving bye-bye to the tv?” :(

My problem with the current Kinect though - apart from the acres of space it seems to need - is that the XBox integration isn't complete. So there's still stuff that you need to use a controller for (and I don't mean in the setup of the Kinect itself) which jars if you've been used to doing all the pseudo Minority Report stuff that Kinect facilitates.

I've got to say that if they can do an updated Kinect that can work over a lot small distance - say 2-4 inches then that's going to be the “must have” peripheral for folks who've gone to Windows 8 on non-touch devices. Metro/MUI just feels utterly unnatural being driven with a mouse. And if they could also get it to work with Windows 7 then heck, I'd probably buy one! Get it working over short distances, and price it properly and they could have a real sales winner come Christmas. ;)

And of course, best of all, the non-touch nature of Kinect means no fingerprints on the screen to have to wipe off (continuously).
After watching the video all I could think was how terribly innacurate and laggy it was in contrast to leap motion.