Sunday, March 25, 2012

Making Things See



Many of us have the XBox 360 with Kinect system in our homes, and if you are like me, you love how it responds to your actions. But have you thought about taking the Kinect technology a step or two or more outside the XBox? Well if so, you are in luck. O'Reilly Media (my favorite, trusted publisher of technology information) has released a book through their Make: Books series, called Making Things See: 3D Vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and Makerbot (January, 2012) by Greg Borenstein, which can make your inspiration a reality!

This detailed, hands-on guide provides the technical and conceptual information you need to build cool applications with Microsoft's Kinect, the amazing motion-sensing device that enables computers to see.  Through half a dozen meaty projects, you'll learn how to create gestural interfaces for software, use motion capture to create playful 3D interactions, 3D scanning for custom fabrication, and many other applications. 

Perfect for hobbyists, makers, artists, and gamers, Making Things See shows you how to build every project with inexpensive off the shelf components, including open source Processing programming language and the Arduino microcontroller. You'll learn basic skills that will enable you to pursue your own creative applications with Kinect.

You will:
*Create Kinect applications on Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux*Track people with pose detection and skeletonization*Analyze and manipulate point clouds*Make models for design and fabrication, using 3D scanning technology
*Use MakerBot, RepRap, or Shapeways to print 3D objects*Delve into motion tracking for fun and useful interactive applications*Build a simple robot arm that can imitate your arm movements*Discover how skilled artists have used Kinect to build fascinating projects

I found Making Things See to be great for beginners, written in a complete and easy to read and follow fashion, yet with projects challenging enough for more advanced technologists.  The Wireless Tape Measure and the Exercise Measurement projects look to be fun and useful!  It is a great book for people who want to take their technology a outside the box for benefit or simply for fun!

 Thank you to O'Reily for my sample used in this review.  Opinions are honest.  Review by Michelle.

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