As Awesome as it is, the FIVE things that suck about the Kinect for MAC

by gabemott on May 21, 2012

The Kinect has changed the world of interactive art. But even still, in the spirit of Louis C K who pointed out, “the world is amazing and we are all complaining”, here is my wish list/complaint list:

  1. The depth image is only 640 x 480 pixels. That means that any time I am pulling in the depth to some VJ Software and map the projected silhouette (a) it’s going to be pixelated or (b). it’s going to be blurry. Dropping a┬ácurvaceous┬álady into the visuals always seems a little more funky and less sexy than desired.
  2. Round people do not calibrate. The one person on earth I most want to try to impress with the Colorbox is my teacher. At first I thought it was because the colorbox was expressing some kind of silicon based mechanical anxiety but now I realize after the third time trying to calibrate him, it’s that he’s 80 years old and the developers are looking for young stick like bodies!
  3. Doesn’t work in sunlight. This is getting pretty picky, mostly affects me when I want to be on my porch outside my house doing development of the colorbox in the sun. Pretty spoiled huh? The infra-red beams get lost in all the infrared coming from the sun. On the flip side, it is pretty friggin awesome that it works in pure darkness. I’ll take working in the dark any day.
  4. *Calibration position is still necessary. I would prefer a glitchy interaction that would pick up people immediately instead of putting them in the silly calibration position every time. Making people stand with their elbows out and hands up makes for an interesting ritual, but it’s forced nature means I’m often standing their aiding them. I understand that Microsoft releasing the SDK means that calibration is no longer necessary when working from hacks on a PC but I cannot wait until this is ready for a mac.
  5. Breaks down when facing LEDs. I’m pretty sure about this, though only base this on having the image freeze a few times when I first took it out to do some VJ shows. The first time I thought it was the magnetics in the speakers as I had put the Kinect on the subwoofer. But slowly I realized that depending on where I pointed it, it would work or not work. Rope lights have given me the worst problem.
Note that I am using a mac. I’ll work my way up to ten, possible with your help.
*This one is underdevelopment– well actually, NI-Mate seems to have cracked it but a license is required and integration into Quartz Composer isn’t as tight as it was with Synapse and OSCeleton Tryplex.

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