February 1, 2012
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This past weekend I had the pleasure of working with the Michigan Historical Museum for their celebration of Michigan’s 175th Birthday. I was asked to do a display involving the Microsoft Kinect, to showcase some of the possibilities of the technology. I introduced the patrons to demos of my Kinect Space Invaders game in addition to the “dancing stick figures” demo. Both demos were a huge hit, with the dancing stick figures drawing people in and the space invaders game showcasing a no-touch game that is highly interactive.
For both demos, I used the new as3NUI AIR Native Extension that is available here : http://www.as3nui.com/ Unlike my other Kinect projects I’ve worked with, this is the first that has taken advantage of the Microsoft Kinect SDK. It was a huge relief to find out how easy it was for Microsoft’s SDK to install (the only thing that tripped me up was the .NET Runtime version that I didn’t have installed). The ANE plugged right into it and fired up without issues, which was a huge relief considering how much of a pain in the rear that the PrimeSense NUI tooling to get setup.
Microsoft has finally released their 1.0 version of the Kinect for Windows SDK as of today (Feb 1st). You can find out more about their SDK here : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/. Unlike the earlier, beta SDKs, they are finally allowing the Kinect to be used for commercial applications HOWEVER, you will need to buy and use one of their non-subsidized Kinect units for about $250. No word yet if they will have re-furbished packaging like they do for the XBOX 360 Kinect units. Developers can still use the XBOX Kinect for the time being, but Microsoft is highly encouraging for us to purchase the Kinect for Windows units vs. the XBOX ones. It is still be be seen how driver compatibility is between the two units.
If you have any interest in checking out the Kinect Space Invaders game that I demoed this past weekend, you can install the Microsoft Kinect SDK (this was tested with Beta 2), plug in your Kinect, and install the demo from here. I will eventually be publishing an updated version tested with the final SDK, but I will be waiting for the updated AS3NUI ANE that is being built to support the latest features of the SDK.
October 8, 2011
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This year I had the distinct honor of being asked to present at Adobe’s MAX conference. The conference was an absolute blast. From the Keynotes to ALL the other sessions I attended, the thing went off without a hitch.
I gave two presentations this year — one for the 360|MAX Unconference and one for the Develop Track at MAX.
Getting Data From Here To There (with Flex)
This session was not recorded, but fairly well attended. You can see my slides here. In this session I talked about the different communications methods available to Flex developers, and I started to lay out a basic matrix of when to use what type of communication method, and what the pros and cons were of each type. Not all of my demos worked due to a broken J2EE server, but I think everybody got the idea. I don’t have great downloads for that presentation as most were specific to my server setups.
Getting Physical With Flash (Hardware Hacking)
This session was a blast to present. We had about 140 people in the room who seemed to be really into it. I presented on integrating the Arduino hardware prototyping kit into Flash/Flex in addition to showing how to integrate the Microsoft Kinect into Flash/Flex. I came armed with about 6 electronics projects that I showed people to inspire them to create their own.
You can download the PPT here.
You can find most of the downloads featured on my blog, but I will update this post and post the direct links to everything at a later date.
Thanks again to the entire MAX staff for making the show run so smoothly from both the speaker’s perspective and from the attendee’s perspective. A+ work led to an A+ experience :)
July 27, 2011
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This year I was lucky to be selected as one of the speakers at Adobe MAX 2011! I will have a session that will talk about integrating various hardware products with Adobe Flash, Flex and AIR. Most of my talk will revolve around using the Microsoft Kinect and Arduino based (and other AVR) projects as inputs and outputs from the Flash/Flex/AIR stack.
If you have been following me lately on Twitter, you will see me talking about some projects that I’ve been working on, including a Kinect version of Space Invaders, and a BikePOV. Both of these projects will be shown during my talk (in addition to others!) The Kinect is such a cool input device that I think it hampered only by the developers working with it (the situation with drivers, required libraries, dependencies and lack of documentation makes it REAL hard for non-developers to do anything with them). The Arduino allows hobbyists to use their basic electronics skills to build very complex electronic gadgets and interact with them using a computer. These are all things that required EE degrees when I was a kid, so it’s super cool to see that technology has progressed to the point where you can build this stuff quickly and easily.
Make sure to sign up for the session! It is on Tuesday from 1 – 2pm!