Sunday, January 02, 2011

a game changer

The gym was closed yesterday so I messed about with "Fitness Evolved" for the Kinect. The Zen Energy Class (God help us) "based on Tai Chi and Yoga moves and inspired by Zen philosophy" is just as much of a dog's breakfast as it sounds, but some of the games are fun. And the potential is frankly breathtaking.

A group from the University of Southern California has created what sounds like the coolest Xbox Kinect hack yet: gesture-based spell casting and controls for World of Warcraft. This interests me strangely as the Bomber is still a keen WoW player and updated to the latest Cataclysm expansion pack on New Years Eve.

USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies has created and released FAAST, or the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit. It’s a middleware toolkit that helps integrate full-body motion controls for games via the Kinect’s sensors. Essentially, ICT makes it possible to map full-body gestures to different keyboard commands.

We'll have to install it on the Bomber's laptop to try it out as that is where WoW lives (and I'm not going to go through the gigabytes of grief setting it up elsewhere). This will need to be managed carefully as he is nervous that the process of integrating the Kinect with a PC will be "bear long" whatever that may mean.

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