blog 18.


Xbox Kinect

Here’s how the distance measurement is done. The sensor has an electronic “shutter” that is able to control the time “window” during which the sensor captures light. This time window can be adjusted to the nanosecond, as well as synchronized closely with the IR “flash” illuminator. By only capturing the light that just begins to arrive from the flash, you can make a correlation between the amount of light received and the distance of each point from the sensor.The light from very distant objects will not have arrived during the window, and those pixels will be dark. Some light will have just arrived from medium distance objects (they’ll be medium intensity), and light will have arrived from near objects for most of the time (so they’ll be bright).You also need to measure the steady-state illumination at each pixel in order to scale the result by the relative “normal” intensity at each pixel. (Darker objects return less light.)

Even if the Kinect doesn’t work perfectly due to lag, Microsoft has put themselves in a very good place to contribute to and even define the future of human computer interaction. Like the iPhone and the new touch based interface paradigm that it introduced, Kinect has the potential to completely change how we use computers in general. It will be interesting to see how the greater Microsoft, with all it’s current management problems, moves forward with this technology. Also this was on one of the Top Ten List of Christmas Gifts, I wouldn’t mind receiving this from Santa. I would love to give this a try. 🙂


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