Steve Clayton: Kinect Powered AR Lets You Interact With Motion Graphics

A new projector-augmented reality mash-up allows you to move and control images and have them react to their surroundings.

Steve Clayton, Microsoft
Steve Clayton, Microsoft on March 13, 2012. @stevecla

Last week I mentioned how closely I follow the work of Hrvoje Benko - he works pretty closely with Andy Wilson. The pair of them always have something interesting cooking in their labs – for Benko last week at TechForum it was the wearable projector, while Andy demonstrated Holoflector. There was one other demo that Andy and Benko showed which I received video of today. Welcome to Beamatron.

Beamatron is an example of the trend we’re exploring that blends the physical world with the virtual world. It’s augmented reality concept that combines a projector and Kinect sensor on a pan tilt moving head – of the kind you may find in a nightclub. The setup utilizes KinectFusion to build a 3D model of a space and enables projected graphics to react in physically appropriate ways. For example a virtual car can be driven around the floor of the room bumping into actual obstacles and running over real ramps. Benko had great fun “driving” the car over my shoes as I stood watching.

The moving head of the projector means the image can be displayed almost anywhere in a room while the depth camera enables the correct projection relative to physical surfaces.

Aside from the fun aspect, another application the team mentioned is the ability to bring notifications and other graphics to the attention of a user by automatically placing the graphics within the user’s view.

Let the blurring of physical and virtual commence!

Originally posted on Next at Microsoft. Republished with kind permission.

TOPICS: Electronics & Gadgets, Entertainment, Web & Technology, Work & Business
Steve Clayton, Microsoft

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Steve Clayton is a regular contributor to PSFK. He is also a Microsoft storyteller. In this role, Steve works with teams across Microsoft to highlight work of product groups, Microsoft Research, incubations teams and individuals – all with the aim of providing an insider’s view of Microsoft and showing people what’s next in technology. He spends time with the company’s developers, researchers, ethnographers, sociologists, cinematographers, and even race car drivers and highlights their work through speaking engagements and the Next at Microsoft website.