Rory

Microsoft Research TechFest - XNA, a depth-sensing camera, an LCD projector, and some genius

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There was one booth at TechFest that was constantly jammed with people. Everybody wanted to interview Andy Wilson.

I'm not quite sure what to call his work. I can think of all sorts of adjectives with which to describe it, but an actual name escapes me.

I will say that I had never seen anything like it.

Without a name, then, I'll just say that it's the world's coolest example of real-time terrain generation with XNA through the use of a depth-sensing video camera and real world objects.

It's also probably the world's only example of real-time terrain generation with XNA through the use of a depth-sensing video camera and real world objects.

And even that mouthful isn't enough to describe everything you'll see in this relatively short video.

Something to keep in mind while watching is that this was Andy's first XNA project.

It made me question whether or not I actually know anything at all about coding...

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    The Discussion

    • Bas
      That... is.. awesome.

      Next step: combine this with robotics studio and have one player control the virtual car, while another player tries to destroy it with a real robot.
    • Duncanma
      FWIW, Channel 9 has talked to Andy before, check out the Touchlight video...

      The guy works on cool stuff
    • Rory
      Bas wrote:
      That... is.. awesome.

      Next step: combine this with robotics studio and have one player control the virtual car, while another player tries to destroy it with a real robot.


      I love that idea.

      As cool as all the tech was, I have to admit that the best part was getting to reach in, pick up the car, and toss it.

      Over and over.

      There's something odd about the experience. I don't know why - maybe because it's what my brain expected - but I had the impression that I could feel what I was seeing.

      All I was doing was lifting my arm, but I felt like there was resistance on it, as though the terrain was heavy.

      It's just fun.

      Even without an objective, it's fun.

      Adding the car-killing-robot would give the activity that objective, and I imagine it would become even more fun.

      'Course, a decade from now, Andy's probably going to hack something together that'll make this look like pong, but... well, pong was fun when it came out, too.

      OK. I don't know what I'm talking about now.

      It's hot in here (the office). I think it's making me crazy.

      I think my point was that I agree with you.
    • jsampsonPC
      This was an awesome video. The first demonstration was excellent, I really loved that. The second, meh, not too impressed with it. I mean, seems a little 1995-ish? What I think of here is seeing my math teacher from middle school doing algebra on the over-head projector. Writing on the projector as his silhouette is cast upon the wall. I really don't see this as much of an improvement over that.

      But, the first demonstration is amazing! Rory, as always, love the personality and the "realness" about your enthusiasm! Keep up the great work!
    • raymond

      Amazing!

      Real Cool Wow!

      Cool

    • Massif
      Ahh! Scary 3D Rory... Anyone else have flashbacks to lawnmower man at that point?

      Now I want an interview conducted entirely in 3D for no reason whatsoever.
    • Chadk
      Wow, this is really cool!!!!!! Big Smile
    • DoomBringer

      :O

    • Bas
      Rory wrote:
      
      I love that idea.


      Sneak me into TechFest next year, and the three of us can make this happen. You, Andy, and I.

      Of course, I know nothing about robotics, but anything to get into this event next time.
    • dannomite
      Andy kind of resembles Bill Gates but with much better hair.  Close your eyes, and their voices are even a bit similiar.Tongue Out
    • Darauk

      That is totally amazing... The car game was interesting, but the interactive virtual chess with another player??? Wow, over the top cool. Get the Xbox guys working on a commercial product!

       

      - Brian

    • joulebyjoule
      Cool! You could make motion picture with that.

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