Today's inspirational project is one that you just have to see to believe. It shows how the Kinect, melded with a projector can make learning (and more) into something fairly amazing...
Spatial Augmented Game Environment
The Spatial Augmented Game Environment, known as S.A.G.E., is a project that marries the spatial recognition of the Xbox 360 Kinect and a projector to create a completely unique learning experience. Created by University of South Florida's Computer Science & Engineering research team, S.A.G.E. is expected to be displayed as a permanent exhibit at MOSI to teach anatomy later this year.
We have developed the Spatial Augmented Game Environment or SAGE for short. It utilizes the Microsoft Kinect, a projector, and XNA to render a game environment in your room. In continuing the spirit of natural user interfaces (NUI), a SAGE enables you to interact naturally with game element visualizations. Game elements are projected out into the real world in proper scale and spatial relation to the game player. Below we discuss how to make your own DIY SAGE system!
Augmented Anatomy SAGE game
Our first SAGE compatible game is titled Augmented Anatomy. It teaches anatomy by providing informative interactions with anatomical components projected on-self. Up to two players can interact with their own anatomy while freely moving around the room within range of the Kinect.
For more videos, check out http://www.youtube.com/user/spatialaugmented
Another important piece of this project is the mount. And speaking of science fiction , they used a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic to 3D print one...
DIY Projector agnostic projector/Kinect mount
For quality projected reality, ANSI lumens may be the most vital attribute. Being able to see your way around the room as well as the augmentations is a definite nice to have. The BENQ MX761 model we selected for our system is even visible in moderate indoor lighting with a modest 4200 lumens and is reasonable around the $1k price range.
Calibration is very important. You are fusing the real and virtual worlds together. Even small alignment issues can cause big problems when projected out over a distance to your targets. Whether you are manually tweaking matrices or using a checkerboard pattern to calibrate, you will want to fix the relative translation and rotation of the Kinect and projector. Position the center of the rightmost port on the Kinect so that it is vertically aligned with the center of the projection lens.
Projectors widely vary in their exterior designs and lens placement. Our model has a peaked dome to accommodate for access to the focus and zoom controls situated around the large lens. We designed these mounts so that they should provide a sturdy fit for most projector designs we have seen.
We used the Makerbot Thing-O-Matic to build our mounts. It is an inexpensive 3D printer. Any 3D printer may be used. The mount design includes screw holes. Tape may be used for a less permanent and sturdy mount. The base tabs are important for a sturdy build on the Makerbot. You can clip them off after the build is complete.
No Makerbot or 3D printer? You can order a pre-made Kinect/Projector mount here http://www.augmentgames.com/?page_id=62
Download the STL for the mount here: http://www.augmentgames.com/?page_id=62