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— Military

Video game gives soldiers better skills to handle bomb-sniffing dogs

By - November 10, 2014 3 Pictures
For centuries, dogs have served in a variety of roles alongside humans, including faithful companion and guardian. The latter function is one that’s seen more focus in recent times as canines have been trained to sniff out buried improvised explosive devices (IEDs) before they are detonated. The dog’s handler also needs to be trained to detect subtle cues from the animal, which is where a video game developed by the US military comes into play. Read More
— Music

Aura turns hand gestures into music

By - February 18, 2014 3 Pictures
Some take their air guitar playing more seriously than others, but even for those exerting the most energy, those perfectly struck imaginary chords are heard by nobody's ears except their own. Aura, an electronic instrument that translates hand gestures into music, could be just what these highly animated faux musicians need to get a little more reward for their efforts. Read More
— Science

LuminAR Bulb transforms any surface into a touch screen

By - December 7, 2012 8 Pictures
We've all seen gigantic touch screens on the news or in movies, but what if you could achieve the same type of interface by simply replacing the bulb in your desk lamp? That's the idea behind the LuminAR, developed by a team led by Natan Linder at the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group. It combines a Pico-projector, camera, and wireless computer to project interactive images onto any surface - and is small enough to screw into a standard light fixture. Read More
— Science

New system detects touch and hand gestures on any surface

By - October 10, 2012 2 Pictures
The world may not be your oyster, but thanks to technology being developed at Indiana’s Purdue University, it may soon be your multi-touch screen. Researchers at that institution have created an “extended multitouch” system, that consists of a computer, video projector, and Kinect camera – the technology allows any surface to be transformed into a touchscreen interface, that can track multiple hands simultaneously. Read More
— Good Thinking

Hacker creates Kinect-powered email interface for his mom after a stroke

By - September 10, 2012 2 Pictures
For many sufferers of aphasia, a disorder caused by stroke that impairs the language centers of the brain, simple things like writing or typing up emails become incredibly difficult. One inventor, though, has created an email interface based on the Kinect system that allows his mom to do the impossible, and send simple emails to her friends and family. Read More
— Music

Mogees turns any rigid surface into a musical instrument

By - January 6, 2012 5 Pictures
Mogees is great news for all the air guitarists out there. This tiny device, built by Bruno Zamborlin for his Arts and Computational Technologies PhD project, offers a whole new way of expressing yourself musically, even if you don’t have the slightest idea how to play an instrument. Mogees, or a “Mosaicing Gestural Surface," is based on a simple contact microphone that turns any hard surface into a musical interface for triggering audio samples. What sets Mogees apart from other interfaces of this kind is that different types of touch stimuli generate different output. Simple gestures like scratching, rubbing or tapping can produce a surprising array of sounds worthy of a serious experimental music set up. Read More
— Science

Kinect-based system developed that recognizes what you're doing

By - July 7, 2011 2 Pictures
When and if we ever do get our personal robot assistants, it would be nice to think that we could "be ourselves" in front of them, doing things such as scratching our butts or checking our deodorant - because they're just robots, right? They're not going to know what we're doing. Well ... thanks to research currently being conducted at Cornell University, there's already a Microsoft Kinect system that can correctly identify people's activities, based on observation of their movements. If such technology were incorporated into a robot, it's possible that it could admonish you for chewing with your mouth open – although more likely, it might offer to help you lift a heavy object. Read More
— Games

Project Natal to ship in 2010

By - February 3, 2010 3 Pictures
Microsoft has announced that its controller-less accessory for the Xbox 360, dubbed Project Natal, will ship by the end of 2010. Unveiled in June 2009, Project Natal is the Redmond company’s attempt to out-Wii the Wii. Instead of a hand-held controller, wireless or otherwise, Project Natal uses a 3D sensing unit on top of your TV to read your gestures, recognize your face or other objects, and even respond to your voice. Project Natal is among the latest examples of devices that are controlled by so-called “natural user interfaces”. Read More
— Automotive

Honda to show auto navigation and multimedia system with gesture recognition

By - January 13, 2010 6 Pictures
Tokyo Auto Salon opens tomorrow and could benefit from much of the hangover from the greatly downsized Tokyo Motor Show last October. One of the most exciting prospects of the show is the first showing of Honda’s Gathers Advance 4, a next-generation car navigation and multimedia system concept which is based around a combination of gesture control (top left image) and voice recognition. Little has been released about the system as yet, however a series of images released by Honda indicates in-car cameras trained on the driver (behind iPod –top right) and voice recognition controls on the steering wheel (bottom right). Read More
— Games

Razer, Sixense and Valve bringing motion control to PC gamers

By - January 7, 2010
With the Wii's MotionPlus already old news, and Microsoft's Project Natal and Sony's PlayStation Eye-based equivalent likely to hit this year, it's easy to wonder when motion controls will find success in the PC world. ASUS's Eee Stick tried, but merely proved that strong software support for new hardware peripherals is absolutely crucial for success - which is why we're excited to see Valve, developers of hit series such as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead and Portal, showing support for Razer and Sixense's new, as-yet-unnamed motion control hardware for the PC. Read More