Today’s post highlights an article written by Jason Odom that takes one of the most interesting Kinect topics, motion tracking, and brings it into the future with the HoloLens…
Thanks to Project-Infrared, there's now a pretty straightforward way to add motion tracking to the HoloLens: Connect it to a Kinect.
Wavelength LLC's created a way to get the Microsoft Kinect working as a motion-tracking input device for HoloLens, which my colleague Adam Dachis wrote about last week. A few days later, the CEO of Wavelength LLC Kyle "G" and his team released Project-Infrared to the community as an open-source github repository.
Project-Infrared is a motion tracking system that uses Microsoft's Kinect and HoloLens. The Kinect takes the input from the movement of the user and transmits an avatar, mimicking the user's movement and displaying it on the Microsoft HoloLens.
Why Motion Tracking?
As developers, designers, and creators, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to interact with our various chosen platforms. With more input options comes new and unique solutions to the problems we are trying to solve. Motion capture has been used by the film and game industries for years, due to its highly expressive detail—everything from hand movements to body language and facial features are picked up and mimicked on screen.
What Is the Solution for Us?
Enter motion-tracking, which tracks a user's entire body so they can control their device without a specialized suit, and in a minimal amount of space. Compared to motion capture, motion tracking is a relatively young technology and far less sophisticated. For it to evolve, we need people developing ideas and new use cases.
The only way to do that is by building on each other's successes. Wavelenghth's Kyle G. says he released the code for their Project-Infrared as open source in response to the needs of an educator in the community: "I can't deny students learning. It's part of my 'no school left behind' belief."
With that in mind, let's walk through how to set this project up, and what we can do with it.
First, let us gather what we will need:
- Microsoft HoloLens
- Kinect Version 2
- Kinect Adapter For Windows
- A PC running:
- Windows 10 (needed for all HoloLens development)
- Unity 5.5 beta (Unity 5.5 0B8 is the version available at the time of writing)
- Visual Studio Community
- Project-Infrared software from the github repository
Now I am assuming a working knowledge of Unity and HoloLens development in general, including the ability to build, compile, and deploy code to the HoloLens or HoloLens Emulator.
Set Up Your Hardware and Install Project-Infrared
Now Let's Try It Out : Testing the Application
After a few seconds of the Unity Logo and a short wait for the data to reach the HoloLens, you should see something similar to the image below.
The Doctor is In... Virtual space!
Congrats! You now have working motion-tracking. Dance around and see Mortimer dance as well. In its current state that isn't a ton of options to dig into, but there are 3 avatars you can try. Look in the Avatar Source View, you can change the Avatar Asset Name from Mortimer to Jill or ParasiteLStarkie by typing the name into the input field.