When we first got an early look at Kinect Fusion at Microsoft’s research labs back in December 2011 it seemed like a technology that would take years to be made available as a product, but Microsoft is doing that very soon. The software maker announced today that the 3D object scanning capabilities of Kinect Fusion will be baked into the Kinect for Windows SDK in a future release. Alongside an update for hand recognition, Kinect is getting even more powerful for developers.
Microsoft has previously demonstrated the capabilities of Kinect Fusion, using the technology to make a 3D scan of Sir Isaac Newton’s death mask, cast from Newton’s face following his death. The new feature will allow developers and engineers to create highly…
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While the humble touchscreen has become the standard interface for most smartphones, and capacitive displays make it a painless experience, the folk at start-up Qeexo think things could still be improved. It’s developed a technology called FingerSense that could add even more functionality. Essentially, by using a small acoustic sensor, it measures the vibrations as objects tap the screen, and can tell the difference between them. So, for example, a knuckle tap could be used for “right-click.” The tech is able to spot the difference between materials, too, so even when no finger is involved, it can register input, a great assistance to those with longer fingernails. The fun doesn’t stop there, though, with the demo video after the break showing a Galaxy SIII with a modified display, able to register stylus input, even without official support for it. More input options can never be a bad thing, and if nothing else, it could certainly make those GarageBand drumming sessions a little more interesting.
Curiosity had just taken its first scoop of Martian soil for analysis when an operator here on earth noticed a mysterious metallic object on the ground beneath the rover. WHAT COULD IT BE?! Is it a little robotic beetle? A new element? Something much, MUCH less exciting?
The image–taken by the right Mast Camera during the mission’s 61st Martian day–shows Curiosity’s robotic arm’s scoop full of sand and dust, waiting to be deposited inside its analysis unit. But, after looking closer at the photo, someone noticed that unusual bright piece.
The scooping operation was then halted and the rover was instructed to take a closer look of the object, which hasn’t arrived yet to ground control.
SPOILER: It’s a screw. If it looks like a screw, it’s probably a screw. I give it a day before a wheel falls off. Then the Martians are gonna think we’re just a bunch of rednecks who’ve only come to their planet to park our broken-ass cars in their yards. We’re not all like that, I swear! (Please don’t vaporize earth)
Thanks to Douglass, sherm and Chris, who agree it’s never a good sign to find pieces of your vehicle not attached to your vehicle.
We were worried there, for a minute. After code explorers found that Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 7-inch had both a locked bootloader and extra security measures, there was a brief concern that the pseudo-Android tablet might be very tough to hack. As it turns out, there was no reason to lose faith. Hashcode, Justin Case, Reverend Kyle and Sparklym3 from the XDA and RootzWiki forums have successfully rooted the smaller Kindle Fire HD in a repeatable form, giving anyone courageous enough to load ADB the control they want over the tablet they bought. Just remember the usual caveats if you choose to dive in: while the root isn’t a lengthy process, as you’ll see in the video after the break, there’s still the ever-present risk of bricking the device should something go wrong. Having seen what can be done with the original Kindle Fire after a little tinkering, we’re intrigued as to what happens with its more capable sequel.
Filed under: Tablets
According to a recent study published by space-scientists (astronomists? I’ve been drinking), our sun is the most perfectly spherical naturally occurring object in the known universe. And here I’ve been all along thinking it was pool balls. STUPID STUPID STUPID. Science, dead ahead!:
As a spinning ball of gas, astronomers had always expected our nearest star to bulge slightly at its equator, making it very slightly flying-saucer shaped. The planet Jupiter demonstrates this effect well. Its high rate of spin – once every 10 hours – means that it is almost 7% wider across its equator than the distance from pole to pole.
Now a team led by the University of Hawaii’s Dr Jeffrey Kuhn have made the first precise measurement of the sun’s equatorial bulge, or its “oblateness”. The results were a big surprise. “We were shocked,” says Kuhn. The sun doesn’t bulge much at all. It is 1.4m kilometres across, but the difference between its diameter at the equator and between the poles is only 10 kilometres.
Scaled to the size of a beachball, that difference is less than the width of a human hair. Only an artificial sphere of silicon that was created as a standard for weights is known to be more perfectly spherical.
A couple things, 1. how do other stars compare or are they just too far away to measure? Because it would be pretty vain of us to think our sun is the most perfectly spherical star when they are like, DOZENS more out there. 2. I don’t think things made out of gas should be in the running for world’s most perfect shape — it’s cheating. Plus, I dunno, maybe somebody farted a more spherical ball of gas one time. Hey, it’s possible! Granted not with underwear on, but it IS possible.
Thanks to Almighty_Mare, who agrees TGIF.
We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is coming to us from Chris, who simply has too much money to blow on a super-laptop. If you’re looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
“I sold my business and I want to replace my laptop [HP Pavilion G6] with a completely unreasonably expensive top of the line machine. I want it to do everything I do (gaming, coding, web design) all at the same time. Apart from the fact I need two hard drive bays, I’m completely open-minded, so what should I be buying? Thank you!”
Quell your gnashing teeth, members of the 99%, he’s done well for himself and now he needs our help. We were able to trick out an Alienware M18x to full capacity for $ 6,700 — with an over-clocked 4GHz Intel Core i7, 32GB of RAM, two 2GB NVIDIA GTX 675m in SLI mode and 1.2TB of SSD RAID storage. That’s the benchmark, folks: who out there can find something more powerful?
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Occasionally, in this line of work, I need to have a slight freak-out moment where I rave about the fact that things like this OrcaM “reconstruction sphere” actually exist. Not only does this thing look like a prop out of a sci-fi movie (or Transmetropolitan), but it acts like one as well.
Inside that enormous ball are seven high-definition cameras that rotate around the object you put inside, looking at it from every angle and with many kinds of special lighting applied to help determine texture, reflectance, and other factors.
What you get is, within a few minutes, a 3D model accurate to under than a millimeter, in full color and with color and texture included. Perfect for, say, submitting to Shapeways or the like and getting yourself a copy. I can think of many uses for this thing.
It’s not the only 3D scanner in the world of course, just the most sci-fi-looking we’ve seen in a while. And big dedicated rigs like this probably won’t be the future of 3D scanning anyway; the Kinect seems to be filling that role just fine. Either way, it’s cool as hell to watch.
using OpenKinect(drivers) + OpenCV(image processing and recognition) + FestVox (speech synthesis). All of the processing and recognition occurs in real time. Just a proof of concept. This is my follow up video: www.youtube.com Best viewed in high resolution and full screen.Related Posts:
Microsoft’s own OneVision Video Recognizer may be novel, but if the folks in Redmond are seriously looking to take things next-level, they should probably cast their gaze across the pond. Zdenek Kalal, a researcher at the University of Surrey, has just created what may be the most sophisticated vision system known to the civilian world. In essence, it takes the mundane task of tracking objects to an entirely new platform, enabling users to select an object on the fly and have the algorithm immediately start tracking something new. Within seconds, it’s able to maintain a lock even if your object twists, turns, or leaves / returns. Furthermore, these “objects” could be used as air mice if you force it to track your digits, and if you teach it what your staff looks like, you’ll have a fully automated security scanner that can recognize faces and grant / deny access based on its database of white-listed individuals. Frankly, we’d rather you see it for yourself than listen to us extolling its virtues — vid’s after the break, per usual.
Continue reading Zdenek Kalal’s object tracking algorithm learns on the fly, likely to make next 007 flick (video)
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iPad: Where an interactive object is worth way more than a thousand words Adobe’s Photoshop 3D product manager and lead engineer put out a book and as a bonus project offer a free iPad app with 15 interactive tutorials for the beginning 3D designer. This is exactly… Read more on ZDNet
Office2 for iPhone and iPad review Pros: Shows potential, good word processing and spreadsheet application, support for a wide variety of cloud-based storage services. Read more on Macworld UK
Apple iPad Selling Faster Than iPhone, DVD Players Apple iPad shipments are outpacing those of both the iPhone and DVD players, according to a new research note, with a current sales rate of 4.5 million units per quarter. Read more on eWeekRelated Posts: