Rachael Miller and Rob Soltesz presented their summer work on Kinect development, natural user interfaces, and capturing emotive qualities of users at the 2012 UROP Symposium for MSTEM. Rachael won a Blue Ribbon at the event for her poster and they are both the first (that I know of) who have successfully used multiple Kinects in an immersive virtual reality space for virtual physical presence.
Rachael focused on creating a natural user interface for immersive 3D environments by combining multiple connects for a more robust skeleton. This stable and predictable skeleton allowed her to then wrap virtual (invisible) objects around the user’s limbs and torso effectively allowing people to interact with virtual objects without markers or special tracking devices. Beyond simple interaction with virtual objects she then developed several gestures to be used for navigation in virtual reality.
Rob worked with Rachael on aspects of her project but also looked into using the Kinect’s multiple microphones and internal voice recognition capabilities to extract emotive qualities from the user inside a virtual reality space.
Andrew Janke also presented at a second UROP symposium on his work with iOS connectivity to a variety of applications. Getting data off of an iOS device is not always trivial. Formatting that data into a PDF and then sending it via email to a specific individual can be a challenge. Andrew developed a process that allows arbitrary iOS applications to send data, using simple sockets, which can then be formatted and then sent via email. This functionality was required by a few of our applications in development and proved to be extremely useful.
All students did a great job over the summer and we’re excited to be a part of the UROP program at the University of Michigan.