Well we got Kinect late last night and I must say I am very impressed. It aint perfect. But its damn good. And It will get better.
If you haven’t heard of Kinect its Microsoft’s venture into Motion Gaming. Kinda Like the Wii or Sony’s new Move system, But with Kinect there is no controller. The controller is your body. You set a sensor bar up that has some cameras and a microphone(the sensor bar system is actually Kinect) and calibrate to your house and your body and go play. Not every game is Kinect ready there are special ones that can take advantage of this new system. I list a few below.
The set up was easy and not technical at all. Took 5 min for me to unpackage, set the sensor in place, connect the wire and reboot. There were a few updates I had to run through but the whole process probably took 10 min. After the last update it rebooted and Dorothy took over. She loved it. It was easy as hell to configure and tune to each person.
The UI control needs a bit of work. But that’s to be expected with any 1st iterate technology. I really think they will tighten it up quickly. To be honest Playing with Kinect was kinda like realizing a dream that I first saw in minority report. It was fun, fast easy to use and very responsive. We were able to test the video chat and it was very easy and the camera was smart. 1 person in the room it would zoom in and follow you as you walk around, 2 people in the room and it would stay zoomed out to get everyone in frame, all with no setup and just plugging it in.
The games are where it shines. We bought 2 – Dance Central and Kinectimals. It comes with Kinect adventures. We experienced each game for a few minutes spending the majority of the time laughing. It was good times. The photos that Kinect takes while you are playing are gold.
In Dance Central There is a freestyle zone in the middle of each song where the “dancer” can do what ever they like and after freestyle ends they show the pictures that were taken in a stop motion style that is very seemless and enjoyable. if the player falls out of synch the screen dancers body part will start to glow red to indicate where the player needs to tighten up a bit. It seems very good at determining correct body position and Dorothy was able to learn with out much frustration.
Here is a video of D knocking it out with Dance Central. Tonight supposedly I am having a “Dance Battle” with her. Not sure how I am gonna survive but I am guaranteed to laugh alot.
Kinectimals is just nuts. I cant say enough about it. The cats are cute, graphics are fab. They recognize faces, respond to voices, act like cats and my little girl loved it. We didnt play it much(it was after 1 am) but with the bit we did I was impressed with how they seemed to bring every aspect of the Kinect experience together in the game.
Kinect Adventures was a blast. I am terribly out of shape and almost died from playing 1 round with my overly energetic 8 year old. We were in a raft and you have to work together to navigate down a river. You can collect different points as you do so. The fun comes in when you are both jumping up and down like maniacs and yelling “Left! Left!” and a picture gets taken of yall together.
We obviously have alot more exploring of this new technology to do but the impression that I was left with after 2 hours was……WOW! It is a fun system especially for families. I will be interested to see how they get hardcore gamers into it but really they have that segment well covered. They needed the Wii demographic and this will bring them in droves.
One thing that I did notice is you need alot of space. Like a good 6.5-9ish feet from the sensor.
This is a video I made for Show us your City. I am pretty happy with it. Wish i had used a filter for the filming but Oh Well.
I was talking to Sarah about prejudice, how idiotic it is and how could it still exist in this day and age with all the science and information we have and I thought of two articles I had read recently.
The two are not related but I see a relationship in them that I would like to explore. The first was brought to my attention by @etherielmusings(twitter poet) -Its a New York times article by Errol Morris, about not knowing what you don’t know. The second article by blogger David McRaney was found by @newmediajim. It is about Confirmation Bias – the human phenomenon where we tend to agree with the things that are known in our lives and certain conclusions are drawn because of what we have been previously taught or know.
I believe that we don’t know what we don’t know because we allow confirmational bias to create preconceived notions that thinly answer questions. If those answers were not available the questions would remain but with the answers provided to us they are no longer needed.
Lets take prejudice as an example and kinda run it through this little test I have been devising in my head using these two arguments. So lets take a gay person. Good ol homosexual, easy target for anyone. And truly one of the last minorities to earn the respect they deserve. (How crazy it is that gay people cant be married! It drives me nuts. We have heteros getting married, having babies, beating wives, cheating on each other, getting divorced, leaving their kids and we dare dictate to someone else how they can love. What the hell.) So Lets say I was brought up thinking homos were bad. That they were sent by someone sinister to make me gay. That they were unnatrual and all that other hogwash I hear. So lets apply our two conditions above. First the confirmation bias kicks in and answers any questions I have about the origin of gays. I know they were sent from a bad place, I know they are unnatural and that’s all there is to it. So I don’t need to ask anymore questions. And any that come up will be discarded easily by my bias. So I kind of enter into a self-induced “Not knowing what you don’t Know” condition. Now, take confirmation bias and reapply- Everything I have been taught about gays, I see in them. I was taught they are femmy and flamey, so I see gays that may be more flamboyant. I was told they all want me, so if I happen to see a gay on the street I feel he is ready to pounce on me. I was told they break up families, so I knew a guy that knew a guy that was gay and left his wife. All the things I perceive strengthen and confirm my already prejudiced beliefs. These two conditions feed on each other. Until a life-changing moment occurs this cycle will continue.
These phenomena apply to more than just personal prejudice. Ever since I read those articles I have tried to become more aware. I didn’t like country music, it was weepy, sad and whatever else. But then I really sat and thought about it and could find no logical explanation why I would totally cut off a genre of music just because I didn’t like a few songs. Maybe I would have liked them had my own confirmational bias not kicked in. So I went back and listened to some country music and it’s not all bad. I have plenty to learn about it and am excited about a new option I have added to my musical repertoire.
At work I have attempted to look past the I “don’t know what I don’t know” rule. Trying to see the things that I don’t know but only don’t know because I have already answered a half-heartedly-asked question with answers from my preconceived notions that originated with my own confirmational bias. In every experience we have, these conditions hold some sway over us. Looking at the way people feel about race, religion, music, video games or even food I find them at play time and time again.
I now know that I must take a longer glance at situations both new and old to understand more, listen better and judge less.
So a few days ago I caught a tweet from Jim Lee(@jimlee00), comic book guru extraordinaire mentioning a sketch he did on the iPad. Well I was impressed as heck, enough so that I wanted to post up a few examples of the wonderful work that is being produced by artists with an app or 2 and the iPad… and a ton o talent.
Those are all just bad-ass. It blows me away what these folks can do. My attempts look more like a drunks exorcised exuberance.
Here is another talented traveler showing leet skills on video.
Hope yall enjoy. Thanks a bunch for reading.