Catching up and moving on

Ok, I think I can manage to have a blog now that I have the rest of my life a little better organized now.  Things got busy in the last few years - I got a new job with a company in Amsterdam, dealt with the stresses of living in my second foreign country and stuff, etc.

Mobile phones have reached the point where screen real estate is the only thing really holding them back. Barcodes are everywhere, and artistic embellishment has risen to a true art - I've seen a lot of cool examples, such as the Takashi Murakami and Marc Jacobs as well as the Wired Pac-Man themed code are all nicely done and use some cool techniques.  Now there are a lot of people getting creative with barcodes and markers - integrating AR and innovating new uses and applications.  The nerd in me can't stay away.  Since the nerd in me accounts for about 90% of me - I'm gonna try picking this up again.

I was trying to put something like the kinect together for a few months using two webcams, opencv and opengazer using a couple of markers for calibration - luckily I didn't go through with it.  I'd much rather just buy a better one than I could make - and it comes with an X-box and a big development community ;).  I just managed to get some libraries installed and start checking out demo code with freenect, OpenNI, PrimeSense, ofxKinect, etc.  People are doing super-cool stuff with it on You-Tube/Vimeo/Google and I got inspired.  Looking forward to tinkering around with it and hopefully coming up with something cool that kinda works the way I hoped.  If I can manage it, I want to do something like Johnny Lee's wii hack simulating 3D perspective but without the IR leds since I should be able to do some head orientation and position tracking. Big talk for a non-programmer.  Yes it will only work with one head at a time (for now...), but still fun to try. I also want to get my hands on finger-detection with multi-touch gestures code and mess around.

About head-tracking and eye/gaze-tracking.  Eye-tracking with a webcam requires some aggressive jitter-reduction (at least for my shifty eyes). I tried using my gaze as a mouse and realized that I was unable to control my gaze without occasionally looking around.  Head-tracking seems a little more deliberately controllable since you are still free to move your eyes around, allowing you to multi-task a bit more gracefully.

I already had some interesting experiences with the kinect - I realized I can't easily sneak a sip of coffee or smoke a cigarette during gameplay without pausing as everything I do is picked up by the kinect.  I had to become more aware of what my body was doing and more deliberate in what I did.

Anyways, I got other stuff to do so that's all for now.