Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral for the Xbox continues to prove useful to those seeking real-time audio visual applications. Indeed, the little box of magic tricks has been used plenty of times for concerts. This time, the device is being used to good effect, providing visual effects for the electronic music group Phantogram at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Creator Blair Neal used openFrameworks open-source C++ toolkit to tailor an application for the Kinect. Specifically, the application generated images of the band’s bodies whilst showing real-time projections of their silhouettes on the stage.
Neal explained why he decided to use Microsoft's motion sensor:
I had seen Kinect used in similar work in modern dance shows and gallery pieces, but I wanted to bring that to a live concert situation.
Neal cited great support from Microsoft with the openFrameworks coding environment, and said that he was able to get it all working in a few weeks. He also mentioned that they had some “happy accidents” when using the Kinect that really added to the show’s visuals.
Neal described how well the Kinect worked during the show to increase audience engagement:
With bands like Phantogram, you have to represent texture, tone, mood, motion, cadence and layered patterns,” Neal says. “When we first used the Kinect visuals on the song ‘Don’t Move’ at the Hollywood Forever show, it was like ‘Wow…it’s working…this is really happening right now,’ and you could feel the audience respond with extra energy.
Despite lacklustre performance as a gaming peripheral, the Kinect is still finding new fans. Can Microsoft bring some of the ideas from these imaginative projects back to the PC and Xbox? Check out the video and let us know what you think in the comments.