Microsoft’s Kinect technology was the next amazing step in gaming. Microsoft is constantly testing and improving this technology in an attempt to make it more useful for all its customers in any platform (gaming, desktop, research).
What about us the Linux users? Is there a similar technology for us to enjoy? Apparently there is, and it is called Skeltrack!
Skeltrack is a creation of Igalia open source consultancy specialized in the development of innovative projects and solutions. To put it simple, Skeltrack allows to retrieve the human skeleton joints from depth images. To understand how this works and what you can do with it, just watch the following video.
A new version (0.1.4) of Skeltrack was released today, bringing exiting new improvements to this promising but still immature technology. The developer of the project Joaquim Rocha announced in his blog today the following:
Apart from some bug fixes, this 0.1.4 version also introduces unit tests for making our development easier.
Yet, the big feature introduced in this version is the joints’ smoothing. If you have tried Skeltrack or watched the videos, you might have noticed that the skeleton is all jittery as if the joints were doing some caribbean dance. This is due to noise and other small changes in the depth buffer that happen in devices like the Kinect (and if you are wondering, it happens to the proprietary alternatives as well), so I implemented a way to smooth the joints’ jitters.
So are we there yet? The truth is that we should hold our horses. We are still far from interacting with GNOME using our bare hands, but watching these videos made me wonder…how far are we really?