With every passing day, more and more of the technology created by Microsoft for their gaming device Kinect is broken down and reconstructed in new ways that might very well change the future of open-source technology. We've seen how the Kinect can be used to create new interfaces with PCs and other simple re-purposing, but it seems that we're still waiting to see the demonstration that will proves just how revolutionary the technology may prove to be.
Now, YouTube user Oliver Kreylos may have done just that, combining multiple Kinect cameras to create an accurate 3D reconstruction of an object in real time.
Millions of consumers lined up to get their chance to 'become the controller' when the Xbox 360 peripheral first launched, and Microsoft thinks the sales will only continue to grow. If you're anything like the staff here at Game Rant, then your first glimpses of Kinect were immediately followed by hours of wondering if this would finally bring us Star Wars-level holograms. The technology isn't there just yet, but not through any faults of technology.
A number of different experiments have been run by 'okreylos,' with one of the most interesting and entertaining being the combination of the Kinect's depth sensors with its camera. After successfully blending the image and the depth information together, it was possible to reproduce a representation of a given object in three dimensions.
Kreylos is far more capable of explaining the work, so have a look for yourself at where the experiment first started:
The concept seems simple enough, even if the amount of hacking and data-crunching would be beyond the average Kinect user's ability. The video immediately raised questions from viewers if it were possible to combine multiple Kinect devices to create an entire, seamless virtual space. While Kreylos suspected that the amount of hacking required to successfully blend the infrared light projections from more than one Kinect would take serious time, the end product was a surprise even to him.
Have a look at how the Kinect may just put 3D technology into the hands of anyone with a some extra cash, a computer, and a lot of spare time:
It should be apparent just how much this kind of work expands what is possible from what was initially pitched as a substitute for a videogame controller. By using multiple Kinect cameras from several different angles, a 3D image can successfully be reproduced. How far a leap is it from this technology being able to be streamed digitally worldwide?
This kind of work may boggle the mind of the average viewer, but according to Kreylos, the technology is far from impossible. If these videos have you intrigued, you should check out the other videos posted to his YouTube channel, as there are several amazing implications of how this affordable device can be implemented.
It would be interesting to know just how many of the one million Kinects sold were purchased by people who had no intention of ever using the device for games, instead attempting to harness the technology developed by Microsoft. In all of the excitement over rewards offered for hacking Kinects, perhaps we overlooked how many people like Kreylos were interested not in cashing in, but by pushing forward into new realms of technology.
These attempts far outshadow the initial hacks, and have everyone in both the gaming and computer industries salivating at what other dreams could soon be coming true. You can get in on the action by picking up your own Microsoft Kinect today.