Tag: DaVinci

DaVinci Kinect Painting the Town at E3

Jun 03, 2011 by in Microsoft Kinect, News

Back in November 2010, we posted a video of a little Microsoft Kinect app we called “DaVinci Kinect.” It’s a prototype we originally built for Microsoft Surface that blurs the lines between the physical and virtual world.

But as soon as we got our hands on the Kinect hardware, we updated the app to take advantage of the new platform and interactions –  as well as extended the technology to recognize hand/figure gestures. With our latest iteration, hand gestures are used to create objects and control the physics of the environment.  The user’s hands appear in the interface which allows one to literally grab objects out of thin air and move them in the environment. Additional gestures allow folks to affect gravity, magnetism and attraction.

After the blog was posted, we received a ton of attention from the likes of Gizmodo and Engadget. And now, we have an opportunity to demo the app at E3!  We’ve been working on a version for the Microsoft Surface v2 as well, so we’ve integrated the new graphics, interactions and a fun little homage to Mr. Lucas.

We’ll post footage of the event next week. Hope to see you there!


DaVinci Goes Touchless With XBox Kinect

Dec 02, 2010 by in Microsoft Kinect

The launch of Xbox Kinect has caused much excitement in the open source community. In the last few weeks, developers have managed to tap into the hardware with impressive results. We’ve seen applications ranging from gesture-based experiences to 3D imaging.

We’ve taken this exciting opportunity to port our popular DaVinci experience to the Kinect platform. Gestures are used to create objects and control the physics of the environment. Your hands appear in the interface which allows you to literally grab objects out of thin air and move them in the environment. Additional gestures allow you to affect the gravity, magnetism and “planetary attraction”.

To date, many of the experiments in gestural interface development have not taken into account the hands. Unfortunately, the result is an experience that isn’t precise – users have no context of where they are interacting in the virtual space and 1-to-1 manipulation of objects in a scene proves difficult. By using an clenched hand to signify “grabbing” an object and an open hand to signify “releasing” an object, we are able to create experiences with an higher level of precision which can mimic a touch based experience. In fact, we’ve created a Kinect plugin to enable our entire suite of touch-based experiences to work with gestures – more videos to come!

Gesture-based interaction is great when touch isn’t practical. For instance, on a large screen projected display as shown in the video above it is difficult or physically impossible to control the entire area using touch. Using a technology like Kinect, we can create a virtual canvas in mid-air in front of the user. Interactions within this virtual canvas space are projected into the experience as shown in the DaVinci example.

To be honest, we had a blast playing with this experience. It definitely fulfilled all of our Star Wars fantasies of controlling objects with your mind. We’ll be adding more features in the coming weeks including the Darth Vader death grip. Stay tuned!

“Control, control, you must learn control.” – Yoda


DaVinci: Microsoft Surface Physics Illustrator

May 01, 2009 by in Microsoft Surface, Portfolio, Technology

DaVinci is a Microsoft Surface application that blurs the lines between the physical and virtual world by combining object recognition, real-world physics simulation and gestural interface design.

One of the important design and technology considerations around building direct manipulation interfaces is to ensure virtual objects behave like real-world objects. The real world physics behavior of these objects is a type of visual affordance, which aids in delivering an intuitive user experience – users know what to expect when they manipulate objects in the virtual world when they behave like objects in the real world. The physics engine used in DaVinci is being applied to our other applications to create interfaces which have natural real world physics.

The DaVinci experience could easily be extended to teach Newton’s laws of motion, gravity, friction, orbital motion and other physics concepts in a classroom setting.