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DepthJS Xbox 360 Kinect hack uses gestures to surf the web

Posted at 27 November 2010 08:00 CEST by wconeybeer

Many of the open-source Kinect hacks we’ve seen emerge so far have been only artistic-looking, but admittedly impressive, graphics rendered of images captured by the motion-sensing camera. Now, a group of MIT students known as The Fluid Interfaces Group have hacked the technology to create a gesture-based way to browse the web.

The project, dubbed DepthJS, is actually a Javascript open-source Chrome extension that uses Obi-Wan Kenobi-like hand movements and fist gestures in front of a Kinect camera to navigate web pages. Users can navigate through open tabs, scroll, click on links, pan around, and zoom in or out on a page.

While it may seem like a simple thing, The Fluid Interfaces group sees plenty of future potential in their creation.

“Navigating the Web is only one application of the framework we built–that is, we envision all sorts of applications that run in the browser, from games to specific utilities for specific sites,” the students state on their Vimeo page.  The great part is that now Web developers who specialize in Javascript can work with the Kinect without having to learn any special languages or code. We believe this will allow a new set of interactions beyond what we first developed.”

Since it is open-source, the group has posted the code for the DepthJS project on GitHub so that others may build upon it. A demonstration video of the application in action is posted up on Vimeo.

This is definitely one of the more useful ways I’ve seen the Kinect hacked for so far. What would be interesting to see is a Kinect 2.0 with a finer resolution camera that could detect finger motions to allow for finer control of gesture-based applications such as this.

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There are 2 comments

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 27 Nov 10 14:46
    And so .... minority report is born
    ivid
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 27 Nov 10 19:39
      "Move along"
      Wow. impressive considering how young this device is. It won't be long before we can all install our own Minority Report / Jedi style control interfaces for our PCs with Kinect.
      Kinda funny that he coolest stuff being done on Kinect is on the open source platforms. Meanwhile the initial xbox Kinect titles seem pretty weak.

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