Kinect Hack Makes Shadow Puppets Real(ish)

Chris Higgins

The Microsoft Kinect has been selling like hotcakes, and geeks have been using it to do amazing things. The best I've seen so far is this "shadow puppet" app created in one day by exhibit designers Emily Gobeille and Theo Watson using free, open-source drivers for the Kinect. They actually connected the Kinect (ahem) to a Mac and wrote some code in order to make this work.

This app tracks "the elbow, the wrist, the tips of your fingers, and your thumb" in order to turn a shadow puppet gesture into a realtime animated bird (complete with squawks!) projected on the wall. Wait, what? Does this mean that our kids will never learn the fine art of shadow puppetry?? Probably. And I, for one, welcome our new animated bird shadow puppet overlords. BEHOLD:

Interactive Puppet Prototype with Xbox Kinect from Theo Watson on Vimeo.

For more info (and links to download the underlying drivers yourself), check out this Vimeo page. Gobeille and Watson make art and museum installations, so they're familiar with interactive art. But I'm guessing that installation-making process just got a lot more awesome.

(Via The Daily What.)