Little satellites grow up to be big satellites. At least, that’s what will happen if Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) gets its way. Working in conjunction with the University of Surrey, the UK-based company plans to launch a pair of nano-satellites into orbit equipped with Kinect motion-control sensors that will allow the minisats to seek each other out and dock to form a new, larger satellite. If this technology proves successful, it has the potential to change the way satellites are built, maintained and even disposed of by changing satellites from individual machines into intelligent building blocks.
Have you ever wished that your computer could answer questions like “What did he mean when he said that?” or “Should I go to that party?” Well, while that may never happen, it could
conceivably provide you with an answer if you asked it, “Where did I leave my wallet?” – if it were running the Kinsight system.
Microsoft has announced the world's first game console with subscription-based pricing, making the Xbox 360 more accessible to those interested in gaming on a budget. The new package will cost US$99 up front, with a two-year contract of $15 a month, much like your average cell phone contract. This is an entirely untested price model for videogame consoles, and may prove to be a stroke of genius for Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 is closing in on its seventh anniversary. A new price model could breathe life into the system for years to come.
peripheral senses motion inputs using a combination of a depth sensor, RGB camera and a multi-array microphone. Now Microsoft’s research division, Microsoft Research, has developed a gesture recognition system called SoundWave that relies on sound instead of video to bring gesture recognition capabilities to a standard laptop or desktop computer without the need for any additional hardware.
In the days of yore, families would gather round the table of an evening and play board games like Monopoly
. With such games moving into the virtual world and now available online, even those playing the same game under the same roof can be tucked away in their own corner of the house. An innovative game robot concept out of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) called MoleBot attempts to reverse the trend by providing a physical environment that allows users to physically interact with a virtual game world.
It may be based on apparently familiar technology, but Y Combinator startup Matterport reckons it's putting its 3D scanning technology, which it claims can scan real environments into 3D digital representations 20 times faster than the competition, to innovative use. "We turn reality into 3D models and our scanner is 20 times faster and 18 times cheaper than any other tool on the market," Matterport co-founder Michael Beebe claimed at the Y Combinator 2012 demo day at the end of March. And though that claim might be pushing it slightly
- 3D scanners have been around for the better part of two decades - the technology demonstrated in Matterport's demo video is remarkable.
When Chaotic Moon Labs debuted the Kinect-powered Board of Awesomeness
- and its mind-reading offspring, the Board of Imagination
- that was apparently just a preview of a more practical product the company had in the works. Grocery store chain, Whole Foods, recently gave a demonstration of Chaotic Moon's latest device, which uses the same technology in a self-propelled shopping cart. The "Smarter Cart," as its been named, can detect what items are placed in it, match those to a shopping list, and even follow shoppers around the store on its own.
A see-through screen, digital 3D objects manipulated by hand, perspective adjustments according to the user's viewing angle - these are the core features of a prototype computer desktop user interface created by Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group. The prototype uses a "unique" Samsung transparent OLED display through which the user can see their own hands to manipulate 3D objects which appear to be behind the screen.
might be able to turn any old surface into a display – with varying results of course – but can they turn any old surface into in interactive display and everyday objects into a remote? No? Well, with LightBeam they can. Developed by a team at Germany’s Technische Universität Darmstadt, LightBeam pairs a pico projector with a depth-sensing camera to provide some Kinect style interactive control to projected presentations.
A recently published patent application indicates that Sony may be working on a Kinect-like 3D depth-sensing device for PlayStation. If Sony follows through with development of such a device, it will no doubt be looking to make up some ground lost to Microsoft, whose release of the Kinect
in November 2010, overshadowed the release of Sony’s PlayStation Move
just a month earlier.