Mocap & Me

When I was attending the ITP Summer Camp, I went to a session at NYU's Motion Capture (Mocap) studio.  As much as I had been around the 3d digital world, I had never seen a Mocap studio in person.  I was so enamored by the technology I signed up to help volunteer. Well, the professor sent an email blast out to these would-be volunteers, telling people about a class he was teaching.  Unfortunately I'm no longer an NYU student, so I thought there'd be a slim chance that I'd be able to attend this class. Well, after a number of emails he said it'd be fine if I audited the course.

Class last week was pretty cool! There's a lot of really incredible technology that I really can't wait to get my hands on.

The class is project- / research-based, and I've got an idea that I'm really excited to start working on. I wanted to take this opportunity to start building this interaction (only the stuff from 2:24 - 2:39):

This week, I finally broke out my Arduino and used it for one of my projects. Here's a look at what I built:

It should go without saying that I'm a total n00b when it comes to hardware. All that mess of wires is just for one button. I should also note how awesome I am at stitching a button to a glove...  man, I really need to figure out a prettier way to do this...

But whatever, that's not the point. The point is that now I've got a button. I've got a button and motion tracking tools... now I just need a display.

Instead of spending my life trying to apply for / track down / fabricate an AR headset, I'm just going to cheat using head tracking and a responsive 2d display. This video, published by Johnny Chung Lee, has been floating around for quite a while now, and it transforms a 2d screen into a pseudo 3d experience:


With my glove button + real time hand tracking + head tracking, I plan on using the main idea from the video above to make something that behaves more like Spatial Computing - complete with the ability to select and manipulate 3d models in real / pseudo real 3d space.

So excited for class again tomorrow...