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Kinect Project Merges Real and Virtual Worlds

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Microsoft researchers recently demonstrated KinectFusion, a research project that lets users generate three-dimensional (3D) models in real time using a standard Kinect system. The technology enables objects, people, and entire rooms to be scanned in 3D.

"KinectFusion is a platform that allows us to rethink the ways that computers see the world," says Microsoft researcher Shahram Izadi. The Kinect projects a laser dot pattern into a scene and searches for distortions using an infrared camera, which generates a point cloud of distances to the camera that the Kinect uses to identify objects and gestures.

As a KinectFusion user waves a Kinect around a scene, an algorithm called iterative closest point (ICP) combines data from snapshots that are taken at 30 frames per second to create a 3D representation. ICP also can track the position and orientation of the camera by comparing new frame data with previous frames.

"With KinectFusion, anyone can create 3D content just by picking up a Kinect and scanning something in," says Microsoft researcher Steve Hodges.

From Technology Review
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 Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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