Originally popping up online around beginning of March was a report of strange goings on and “ghost” captures using the gaming interface Kinect. As well as others who are reporting similar! Kinect is an controller free interaction for the likes of menu controlling and gaming. Using technology to capture gestures, facial recognition, voice and body movement.
Kinect is great fun, it uses a mic and combination of cameras and sensors. A standard camera, and 3d infra red depth sensors to translate into on screen animation. Its a lot of fun, its very intuitive to use and is the capturing device of some very interesting phenomena. Because of the 3d depth camera it picks up 3dimensional objects and people. And can differentiate between static and moving stuff. Without getting technical it can tell the difference between you, who else is in the room and the vertical lampshade.
It would have been very easy to just post this a link to facebook when the first story went online, but we wanted to see over the course of 4 weeks, what the responses were – what other reports came up – what people were talking about – and go for an blog article on it.
One night my friend was playing it (Kinect – not sure what game though) with her son and after some time the son ends up going to bed, but the mother continues to play and at some point while she’s playing the Kinect picks up on another body entering in the gameplay area from the background… When there is no one around but herself. Immediately she turns it off and goes to her bedroom.
It has to be a physical 3D moving person in order for Kinect to recognize it is a person, assign a 3d skeleton to it, and Kinect has software designed to tell the difference between those passing and those entering the play area to play.
“So last night, I was having a conversation with a friend about politics, conspiracies, and the like-When he told me about his recent ghost sighting. I was mildly intrigued. Basically, he has an Xbox Kinect and sometimes when he’s playing alone, It will “pick up” a second player when nobody else is in the room. The player will then try to play basketball with him. It doesn’t do a very good job, he says…but it does try.”
Is the 3d “spectre” player moving around and performing gestures in order to be recognized or do they just wanna play? It could of course be a reflection off somewhere being detected.
There is a number of Youtube videos – of this curious detection method.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqZNop7ZsFc&feature=related – The video poster, in his bedroom. speaks quite openly that he is aware of a spirit child of a girl in his house. The “spirit” appears to be interacting with the virtual animal on screen.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54_Y5mc4pEg&feature=related – This video is a very well lit room, its a guy and his young toddler aged kid. The dad demonstrates the play area has no one within it, yet there is interaction on screen.
There was a report posted on the very first day of release of strangeness being detected by the Kinect.
While taking a break from the rigors of motion control gaming, having sat down just out of view of the sensor but in a position to still see the screen I started browsing the internet and eventually the Xbox went into the screensaver mode which reduces the screen brightness.
Every few minutes I noticed that the TV screen would light up and the Kinect sensor would try and adjust its angle before going back into standby mode, thinking nothing of it and continuing with my browsing I was content in presuming that this was something the Sensor did to calibrate for changes in the room.
Then the incident occurred, the camera started adjusting and out of curiosity I looked up and saw that on the dashboard IR input display the screen was lit up as if the camera had detected hands waving, a little freaked out I got up to check it out and then the straw that broke the camels back the screen flashed purple indicating that it had indeed found a person.
For those folks who wanna have a go kinect ghost huntin’ Go to where you set up the game to be able to recognize you. It will show your body and outline in green and shows all your joints when you move as it senses the movements. Try leaving the field of vision of the Kinect and asking out for those present to step into the area. To see if it “detects” anyone. For those who wanna be more creative and take Kinetic into the active investigation field – Kinect drivers for Linux and Windows for a little while now, to hook it up to PC and Laptops. There sure has been some inventive uses and applications from the homebrew and technical community.