Omek Interactive Show PC Body-Tracking

By Jim Rossignol on January 10th, 2011 at 11:14 am.


So it turns out that Microsoft aren’t the only company with a body-tracking technology in their pocket. Israel-based Omek Interactive also showed a PC-based body-tracking motion control system at CES, although it should be stressed that this is a software solution. Omek claim their system will work with “any depth camera”. That sounds good except – and I could be wrong – I can’t say I’m aware of any cheap depth cameras on the market, other than a certain MS one. (John points out that ASUS have one coming.) Anyway, it functions… as you might expect. See the video below for shakycam footage.

Cheers to Dan for the link.

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26 Comments »

  1. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    Should we care? It does look certain that hand-waving is coming to PC, with this, Asus’ offering and Microsoft hinting at PC support for Kinect. I really can’t understand why people care though…

    • Zanchito says:

      HTPC + Body tracking (web surfing, channel control, volume settings, media navigation) = Couch potato heaven!

    • TeraTelnet says:

      Or for drag-and-move orders for RTS games, plus using virtual icons on-screen to tap for use of special abilities instead of scrambling for the correct key combo?

    • Zogtee says:

      Why do people care?

      Because the PC is suddenly back in the spotlight? Because it’s getting the same attention (hardware-wise) as the consoles? Because the box that has been declared dead or dying countless times is seen as full of life again?

      Shit like that, I reckon.

    • mbp says:

      @Zanchito wasn’t there some about Kinect not working too good when you are sitting or lying down. Sounds more like couch potato hell than heaven.

    • Zanchito says:

      Kinect is kinda slow on the XBOX360, but hooked to a PC it works much better (faster and more resolution, on PC you can use software with finger detection, not so on the console, for example). I actually watched a demo (vídeo) of Windows Media Center on a PC controlled by Kinect and it looked pretty nice. The user was reclined on a sofa too!

  2. ChaK_ says:

    I’m less than under-interested in all those motion thingy.

    Mouse / KB fills all my needs

  3. BooleanBob says:

    What I’m really after is a faster horse.

  4. Flaringo says:

    looks kind of shit

  5. gwathdring says:

    The only thing I would prefer motion control over either a keyboard or console style controller is for racing games where a keyboard just doesn’t give me both quick response and precision simultaneously. But if I had the money for a kinect type system I could just buy a racing wheel anyway. I can see why it would be useful for RTS’s, but I don’t think I’d like it. I suppose it would mean we’d have dancing games on the PC … not really my style either. I’m sure the indie scene would have a lot of fun with this type of technology if licensing isn’t too pricey, and if it is there are bound to be some code lovers who writer their own motion sensing material to go along with the Kinect or a similar camera system. I’m intrigued, but unlikely to ever buy.

  6. Thecreeperskg says:

    “Hello my friiend…” Great, now we get Indian spam….
    “Birdy namnam??” xD

  7. Vandelay says:

    Boo to the naysayers. Hooray to the diversity of the PC.

    Personally, the physicallity of the Razer controller is preferable to this and more suited to the usually desk bound grey box, but this still could be interesting when it comes to gesture controls.

  8. Frank says:

    So now the question is…
    Who will sue for patent infringement first!

  9. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Why is all this body-tracking technology coming out of Israel? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PrimeSense, who developed the hardware that Microsoft licences for Kinect, is also from Israel.

    Any theories?

    • zipdrive says:

      It’s because we move a lot?

    • Starky says:

      It’s a Zionist plot to steal steal all the blue smarties of the world – I could tell you how kinect/motion tracking links with this plot – but then you’d become a target too.

      The Illuminati will never allow them to succeed – after all they control the population from childhood through mind control drugs laced into blue smarties.
      That’s why they had to pull the blue smarties for a while, it wasn’t because of some hyperactivity causing additive in the blue colouring – it was because the Zionists.

      Don’t worry though, we in the shadow resistance are fighting them – we used to provide a counter drug, first in Marathon bars and Opal fruits, but the Illuminati got wind of that and made moves against us – changing the names!
      We have a few other products though to fight this control, a new one for every one the Illuminati prevent.

      So whatever you do, when a well known well love product changes its branding DO NOT USE/EAT it – it is no longer safe!
      Cif was the worst, many people died in the underground war fighting against that. We lost the battle, but we hold out hope for the war and one day Jif shall return!

    • Starky says:

      It’s a Zionist plot to steal steal all the blue smarties of the world – I could tell you how kinect/motion tracking links with this plot – but then you’d become a target too.

      The Illuminati will never allow them to succeed – after all they control the population from childhood through mind control drugs laced into blue smarties.
      That’s why they had to pull the blue smarties for a while, it wasn’t because of some hyperactivity causing additive in the blue colouring – it was because the Zionists.

      Don’t worry though, we in the shadow resistance are fighting them – we used to provide a counter drug, first in Marathon bars and Opal fruits, but the Illuminati got wind of that and made moves against us – changing the names!
      We have a few other products though to fight this control, a new one for every one the Illuminati prevent.

      So whatever you do, when a well known well love product changes its branding DO NOT USE/EAT it – it is no longer safe!
      Cif was the worst, many people died in the underground war fighting against that. We lost the battle, but we hold out hope for the war and one day Jif shall return!

      [Repost because editing it marked me as spam - woohoo]

  10. ZIGS says:

    Israeli army chicks are hot.

    Yes, I realize that has nothing to do with the topic at hand

  11. Consumatopia says:

    When I first saw those Wii controllers, I and so many others thought “wow cool you can virtual sword fight 1-to-1 now”. Except you couldn’t, the motion capture was way too crappy to do anything but make vague gesture commands which was pointless–it’s way simpler and easier to just push a button. But eventually they released Motion Plus so I guess you can swordfight now?

    I think the depth camera equivalent of that is “wow cool you could play an MMOG where your movements and facial expressions are communicated in real time to the other players”. But I haven’t seen any announced games that propose anything nearly that radical–just more dancing games and gesture recognition. Then I see the low resolution pics that come off this depth camera, and it doesn’t look like facial expressions could be discerned. Maybe someday they release “Kinect HD” and reality catches up with my dreams?

    • Ateius says:

      Yes, it’s still in the embryonic stage. The possibilities are interesting, and it’s exciting that such future-esque technology is being developed, but it’s very definitely not to the point where I want to use this to control my games instead of the precision of existing options.

  12. Soon says:

    Could they project the screen onto my desk, and track my hand movements as though my desk is now a touch screen monitor? Turning it into a Surface, or something.

    Maybe project a screen area and a mouse mat area. My hand acts like the mouse when on the mat area. Hmm, why not project a customisable user interface onto the desk. Seems more useful than waving my hands around. I could switch it to a virtual midi keyboard and everything.

  13. gwathdring says:

    O.O … I retract my statement … I would go in for motion capture if someone made 1:1 sword fighting. You could do some really cool things with a Sid Meier’s Pirates style game involving motion capture. Expanding the world and the ship-board parts to make ship combat more tactical, making diplomacy intricate and more interesting, and adding some 1:1 motion capture would work really well for a game with that general skeleton. It had some issues, but it was fun and had mini-games involving sword fighting and dancing. But really I just want 1:1 sword fighting. :D

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