SAN FRANCISCO--Sitting in the windowless basement level of a nondescript building in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, Andy Miller is doing one of his most essential -- and rewarding -- jobs: helping smart and talented, but young and inexperienced, entrepreneurs navigate the crucial steps needed to move their new company forward. After all, great technology can only get you so far. It takes great business strategy and decisions to build a truly successful company.
With the unveiling today of its Leap 3D motion control system, a San Francisco startup called Leap Motion has, well, leapfrogged the state of the art in this young field, giving users the ability to control what's on their computers with hundredth of a millimeter accuracy and introducing touch-free gestures like pinch-to-zoom.
Leap, which comprises both a small USB … Read more
It's end-of-term time, which means brainy college students throughout the land are busily quaffing coffee and eschewing sleep to get their final projects sewn up.
That means too, of course, that many of these compelling projects are being put on display for the first time.
We got an e-mail from Golan Levin, a professor of new-media arts at Carnegie Mellon University, about student work in his advanced class this spring: "Special Topics in Interactive Art and Computational Design." Levin has put together a Web page of videos, and the projects display an admirable diversity of interests and approaches (and in some cases a mischievous sense of humor).
They range from Kinect-powered 3D soundscapes to virtual houseflies to sexy long-distance physical-stimulation devices (digital foreplay, anyone?).… Read more
SEATTLE--Microsoft is planning to launch an ambitious plan in the next month to revamp advertising: television that watches you watching it.
The goal of NUads is to convince people to stop using their DVR to skip or fast-forward through ads by using the Kinect sensor for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console and Windows PCs to make ads far more interactive. (Here's CNET's Kinect review.)
The Xbox 360 scored its 16th month in a row as the best-selling console in the United States.
With a 47 percent share of all current console sales, Microsoft sold 236,000 gaming units last month, according to the latest stats from NPD Group.
Total consumer spending on the Xbox 360 (hardware, software, and accessories) hit $261 million, more than what was spent on Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3 combined.
The Xbox also grabbed seven of the top 10 game titles in April. Kinect Star Wars took the No. 1 spot, with The Witcher Two: Assassin of … Read more
Microsoft may be looking to integrate Internet Explorer 9 into Xbox 360 consoles sometime in the near future, according to The Verge. Redmond is also said to be testing the use of Kinect voice and motion control to help users browse the Web.
This move would bring Microsoft closer to integrating more of its products into the same ecosystem. Right now, Xbox 360 has Bing video search and Kinect voice recognition. Although some users are pleased about not having to type in TV show and movie names, the feature has gotten mixed reviews from consumers who say they have to speak loudly and use very specific commands.… Read more
Microsoft has already come up with a neat way to interpret motion by way of a camera. Now it's using sound to accomplish the same goal.
The SoundWave technology recently unveiled by Microsoft Research allows users to control the software on their computers with only the movement of their hands. However, unlike the company's Kinect, which uses cameras to achieve that functionality, SoundWave is able to pick up motion based on sound.
According to Microsoft, SoundWave relies on a speaker and microphone to work. The technology emits an inaudible tone from the speakers that is interrupted when people … Read more
In yet another example of the amazing things possible with the Kinect gaming console, filmmakers have combined the depth camera of Kinect with a digital SLR to create a haunting new look in video.
Fellows at Carnegie Mellon University's Studio for Creative Inquiry this week posted video, spotted by The Verge, from a filmmaking workshop which shows some of the potential of this type of 3D imagery.
The sensor in the Kinect console controller scans objects in front of it and determines their distance, allowing it to recognize gestures for playing video games. Fellows James George and Jonathan Minard … Read more
At CES this year one of the most interesting announcements involved Samsung's Smart Interaction, a new feature on its 2012 TVs that utilizes a built-in camera and microphone to enable you to control the boob tube just by speaking and/or gesturing to it. I've spent the last few days doing just that, much to the amusement of my co-workers, and boy are my arms (and at least one finger) tired.
My takeaway? Smart Interaction has promise but feels half-baked and more like a gimmick than a compelling upgrade. Once the novelty wears off, its usefulness is limited (at best) to those times you don't have a remote in-hand. … Read more
We're believers: WINTER IS COMING. Technically I guess it arrived a year ago, but Jeff and I are finally catching up to the "Game of Thrones" hype and spend the first few minutes of today's episode discussing the George R. R. Martin books and the anachronisms of the show.
The reviews are in for Microsoft Kinect Star Wars and nobody is impressed with the glitchy gameplay and a story that seems to appeal more to kids than fans of the original movies. With years of anticipation in the making, Jeff echoes the fans in the galaxy … Read more