Slash
Kinect Hack Lets You Virtually Fly Around London [Video]

Google Earth plugin lets you explore the city by moving your arms around like wings.

Yi Chen
Yi Chen on April 27, 2012. @yiiee


If you ever wanted to have the ability to fly around a city, here’s your chance to simulate it right in the comfort of your own home. The ‘Pigeon Simulator’ was created by a team of researchers from the University College London. The Kinect and Google Earth hack lets users explore London by mimicking the motions of a bird.

The system can recognize simple flying motions, such as tilting an arm to turn, or flapping the arms to go higher, and leaning forward to dive down. As they’re flying, users can also receive live data from the city, including information such as pollution levels, height of the river, and recent tweets.

The Pigeon Simulator source code is available online and has been tested on Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.7. The plugin is designed to work with the Microsoft Kinect system, but users can also navigate around the map using keyboard controls. Watch the video below to see the simulation in action:

Pigeon Simulator

Thinking...