Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gesture Tek

Carlos Ruano, IMM 2007-2008, Sheridan

High Technology begins with simple ideas. GestureTek(1) develops applications and tools which create an interactive environment and facilitate the interaction between users and computer programs.

GestureTek’s (GT) first prototype was launched in 1986. Since that moment, Vincent John Vincent and his crew have been constructing several interfaces that are being used by different companies (Gaming, Education, Sports, Entertainment, Rehabilitation Processes, Museums, Science Centers, Weather TV Stations and Merchandising) to produce high-end interactive applications.

GT has created human-computer interaction by developing tools in the fields of body tracking, immersion and hand tracking, as replacements for traditional human-computer interaction (for example keyboard and mouse).

In my opinion, the use of new inputs is making the difference in the computational and gaming environment through the conception of replacing the regular ways to interact with computers. The more people feel involved in the application the more they enjoy their use of the programs.

The new waves of interaction are a field where hard working programmers and developers like Vincent John Vincent and his team find an ideal place to innovate. The way they build simple, safe and reachable interfaces for users is an extremely powerful tool that different companies handle to advertise, share and introduce their products to different audiences.

By targeting their newest research to mobile technology, GT’s source of new inventions rely on a mixture of creativity and simplicity rather than considerable financial investment.

(1).-“GestureTek Inc™, (originally called JesterTek) is the inventor of, and has been the world leader since 1986 in camera-enabled computer control pioneering “applied computer vision” to computer human interaction. Our multi-patented VGC (Video Gesture Control Technology) has enabled them to create a variety of products that allows the user to interact with on-screen computer content from a distance using gestures, without having to wear, hold or touch anything”. Gesture-Tek Corporation.

Related Links

GT Homepage

GestureTek Talks Xbox 360 Camera Innovation

GestureTek selects NetSuite to power explosive growth

Cellular giant signs GestureTek

GestPoint (HoloPoint and ClearTouch)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Visualization Design Institute

Carlos Ruano, IMM 2007-2008, Sheridan

Today, we visited the Visualization Design Institute (VDI) which is an important Research Department of Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning(1). This people have been working for approximately nine years developing computer based software and visualization tools worth for education, entertainments and cultural research.

We have come to the following conclusions after combining online research with Visualization Researcher and Developer Song Ho Ahn and Senior Web Developer Ian Howatson expositions:

  • F.A.C.E. (Facial Animation Communication Engine), which is a real-time facial animation tracking system that is being developed at VDI, has the purpose of capturing human face’s shape and movement in order to make it useful in gaming environments. In my opinion the development this kind of tools helps to construct interactive interfaces that may turn gaming into more interactive applications and increase their appeal to different audiences.

  • The interface of F.A.C.E. involves deep investigation into the fields of shape recognition, color and grayscale analysis, 3-D, and Facial Action Parameters. That new knowledge can be used in future works related to emerging technologies such as body and motion recognition, medical and physiological analysis and virtual reality, including interactive applications related to entertainment and to the new ways of interaction between human and computers.

  • Understanding visualization as ‘the technologies that are used to transform information into a visual form, enabling the viewer to easily understand the information using interactive graphics and visual design(2)” we realized that the work done by Immersion Studios on their Immersive Visualization Environment Theater is a fascinating tool to transmit information in an attractive and interactive way.

  • Using electronic tablets as inputs to allow the audience to get involved or chose the contents on the screen this tool seems to be a very powerful first step into what may will be the next step into the way to show contents to different kinds of audiences and let them interact with the stories or educational filling displayed.

  • After visiting VDI, we can state that the emerging technologies that are being developed at this days can be extremely helpful when it comes about interactivity, but the greatest challenges consist on making them reachable to the general public while adapting them to be used with normally used tools such as the conventional web cam (used as the primary input in F.A.C.E.). VDI shows us that interactive visualization technology can be funny and educational whenever you apply creativity, effective programming and a little bit of common sense in your creations.

(1).-“VDI is an applied research unit of Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (Sheridan). We are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the field of computer visualization and simulation. The VDI is a multi-disciplinary establishment, encouraging collaborative partnerships in the areas of scientific, medical, engineering, educational, cultural and environmental research. It is a unique leading edge R and D facility that develops applied solutions that will help ensure a leadership role for Canada in this highly specialized technology”. Visualization Design Institute of the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

(2).-“ Data visualization, the art of using visual thinking to understand complex information, is a growing trend--but it also has an illustrious history. Some of the biggest scientific discoveries hinged on turning data into pictures. One famous example of visualization is the periodic table of elements: When Mendeleev published a grid-like arrangement of elements for a textbook in 1869, not only did he create a beautifully simple display of known data, but his diagram highlighted gaps in current knowledge that told scientists where to search for new elements”. Martin Wattenberg, Manager, Visual Communication Lab. AlphaWorks, IBM.

Related Links

VDI Homepage

IBM – Visualization

Face Recognition Interesting Papers

Face Recognition Camera

Interactive Visualization lecture by Jonas Lowgren

George Legrady Studio