27 Feb 2013

Goodevening. I bring you a brief and cursory ramble (how can it be both brief and a ramble? magic!) about computer-vision-related dazzle-ry. A disclaimer for anyone splitting hairs: more of this post is focused on Augmented Reality, but that tends to involve a good bit of computer vision.

I’d also like to point out that two of the three things below were discovered via this thoughtful commentary on the influence of filmmaker George Melies on the ideas of Augmented Reality. You may be familiar with Melies if you saw the film ‘Hugo’ — or read the book it was based upon.


It’s cellular, modular, interactivodular…

Raffi song aside, this is an awesome demo of everyday objects turned into complex gadgetry via the recognition of gestures— say, opening a laptop, or picking up a phone. It reminds me a lot of the student project about hand-drawn audio controls that graces this website’s homepage, but what I really like about it is the fact that the system relies not on shape recognition, but instead upon such small and seemingly inconsequential human behaviors. Honestly, who even thinks about the way we open our laptops? It’s just something we do, habitually and subconsciously. To be able to harness that strange subliminal action and use it to transform objects into devices is fascinating to me. I’m also interested in the work that went into projecting the sound so that it seems to originate at the banana.

And now, a word on demonic chairs….


This demo of a man using a kinect to make a chair jump around isn’t particularly compelling to me as a stand-alone piece, but I thought the article was worth including because of the implications for animation that it proposes. It really makes a whole lot of sense to use the kinect to create realistic animations. Sure, you can spend a lot of time in Maya making every incremental movement perfect, or you could capture a motion fluidly and organically by actually doing it yourself. It’s a no brainer, really, and I bet it’s a lot cheaper than those motion capture suits like they put on
Andy Serkis in LotR… or Mark Ruffalo in Avengers…

Did somebody say Avengers? Oh that reminds me…

Jarvis is the new watercolors….

Last post, I made the bold claim that watercolors make everything better, a statement that I could be quickly talked out of believing. When it comes to Jarvis (or really anything Marvel related), however, I’m much more likely to stand my ground, for better or worse. This is part of the promotional material for the Iron Man 2 movie a few years ago — an interface that lets you put Iron Man’s helmet on, and also control bits of Tony’s Heads-Up Display via head gestures. Honestly, this looks like something that could be pounded out with very few issues just using FaceOSC and some extra-sparkly sci-fi, Stark-Industries graphics. But even with a technical background, I am still a sucker for sparkly pseudo-science graphics. Sue me! The Marvel marketing machine tends to be pretty clever, if admittedly gimmicky.