Replacing the TV Remote

PrimeSense the company providing the technology behind Microsofts Kinect is working with Asus on the long awaited 🙂  replacement for the TV Remote. One result of this cooperation is a new product by Asus the “WAVI Xtion”. The technology behind it is the same as the Kinects. Other than Microsoft Asus is not aiming for the gaming market but the living room in general. Seeing it as the dooropener for bringing the  PC into the living room.

Amongst other things one important part of this development is to increase the resolution of the sensor to allow tracking of smaller structures like fingers.

[via Technology Review].

Controling WoW with a Kinect

A first shot at implementing more complex interaction with the Kinect by the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California.

They are developing the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), which is middleware to facilitate integration of full-body control with games and VR applications. FAAST currently supports the PrimeSensor and the Microsoft Kinect using the OpenNI framework.

In this video, they show how FAAST can be used to control off-the-shelf video games such as World of Warcraft. Since these games would not normally support motion sensing devices, FAAST emulates keyboard input triggered by body posture and specific gestures. The controls can be dynamically configured for different applications and games.

FAAST is free software that uses the OpenNI. It is currently prepared the for an open-source release. You can download FAAST at:

OpenNI on the Mac

There seems to be some progress on getting OpenNI going on the Mac. PrimeSense has also joined the effort. Currently they are working on getting the NITE Middleware going. NITE provides basic hand and skeleton tracking on top of OpenNI.