Microsoft KinEtre Lets You Control The World

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Social Media, Technology

control-the-world

Have you ever wondered what your grandma would look like break dancing? Do you daydream about your favorite pet fighting zombies? Has the thought of an ill-tempered bookshelf ever crossed your mind? If so, KinEtre is for you. Using rapidly improving object recognition and mapping technology, the farfetched, left field ideas from above are becoming a virtual reality.

The project name KinEtre sounds similar to Kinect and it wouldn’t be possible without Kinect Fusion technology, so it’s safe to say that KinEtre is the next of Kin. Thanks to KinEtre, visual feats once available only to the privileged few will soon be performed right in our living rooms. The possibilities for gaming and augmented reality could make even the most solemn man giddy.

KinEtre: Opening character animation to a new audience

Wouldn’t it be cool to control the world? Researchers playing around with Kinect Fusion 3D object mapping technology thought so too. To achieve this lofty goal, researchers Jiawen Chen and Shahram Izadi used a handheld Kinect sensor to scan a number of random objects, both inanimate and animate. Almost instantaneously, 3D models of the objects were created using the aforementioned Kinect Fusion.

Once the replica is generated on screen, the user simply tells the kinect sensor to “possess” the object, and their body becomes aligned with the virtual icon; KinEtre technology aligns the avatar based on the human joint arrangement. The scanned object naturally follows your exact movements in real time. Check out a demo below.

It’s tough not to let your mind wander after watching what Chen and Izadi have accomplished. With affordable home 3D-printing on the horizon, you’d be able to Kinect scan and control any character or object you want. It seems natural that you’d be able to upload this new avatar into a number of different games and environments as well.

Perhaps even more exciting is the prospect of using KinEtre to scan your friends and family and make them look silly on-screen. This technology could become dangerous if the scanned objects become indistinguishable carbon copies. Just like the idea of recording dreams, some images just don’t have a place in reality. With KinEtre’s applications growing, we could be nearing the end of the distinction between virtual and reality.


Microsoft Research via IEEE

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