Kinecthack: London

Published on - 9th April 2015. Written by Dan


What was it?

On Saturday 21st March 2015, over 80 developers settled in to Microsoft's Cardinal Place offices for a 36 hour hackathon focusing on the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor. The event, organised by Moov2 with support from Microsoft's developer experience team, was a roaring success full of fun, enthusiasm and resulting in some fantastic projects.

What happened?

Attendees who had travelled from Scotland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and even as far as Mexico arrived early for registration where they received their lanyards and Kinecthack London t-shirt.

  • Kinecthack introduction

    They were then snapped by our retro polaroid cameras as a collage of attendees and projects was formed whilst everyone settled in and got to know each other.

  • Dan welcomes everyone to the event

    The event kicked off with an introduction from Dan of Moov2 welcoming everyone to the event.

  • attendees enjoying the Getting Sttarted workshop

    Immediately after Microsoft's Pete Daukintis hosted an extremely popular "getting started" workshop which walked through the make-up of a Kinect for Windows project which enabled everyone to get up and running.

  • Attendees working on their projects

    Soon after the workshop, everyone took residence in the auditorium where they would be for the rest of the weekend and work commenced on various projects.


Food

Typical hackday fayre wasn't going to cut it, an event as special as Kinecthack London deserved some special fuel for the attendees so Moov2 arranged for meals to be provided by various London street food vendors. Throughout the weekend we had Cheeky Indian who served extremely delicious Indian themed wraps including "chicken tickle" (tikka) and the very popular spicy meatballs. We also had The Mac Factory serving gourmet Mac n Cheese and Cheeky Burger who delivered the most amazing freshly prepared burgers. Needless to say no one went hungry and feedback was extremely positive.


The projects

As well as fun and food, a lot of incredible projects were also created during Kinecthack London. Check out the following videos for a taste of what our attendees were working on:

Full list of projects presented during show-n-tell:

  • Pong in Kinect - variation of the classic game pong controlled by either Squats or Press ups
  • Sphero Slalom - Kinect controlled Sphero device, a remote controllable ball.
  • Flight of light - 4 Player Unity game which was adapted to support Kinect input
  • James Aliban's Vase maker - Through the use of the Kinect camera and Ppen Frameworks James created a host of weird and wonderful psychedelic 3D vase visualisations
  • Squat analyser - exercise form analyser
  • Skelexplore - skeleton and muscle explorer
  • Do it for Walt - Disney devs prototyping interactive theme park guide with funny mask + gloves picture sharing
  • Kinect + Occulus - Tom Bonner worked tirelessly to add extra immersion to an Occulus VR experience by adding limbs via Kinect data
  • Flappy Box - 4 player, flappy bird clone with kinect powered jump-to-flap! Hilarious and exhausting.
  • Music Machine - Interactive music making where body position controls the audio
  • Skynect - Kinect to Skype camera integration
  • Kinect Graphics - Experiments in Kinect powered graphics visualisations
  • Kinect talks - Fernando used Kinect to create a tool to assist a 5 year old sufferer of cerebral palsy utilising simple body movements to voice outputs
  • Hole in the wall - Unity game using Kinect gestures to push shaped blocks into a 3D advancing wall
  • Box sizer - Kinect camera and depth detection to measure cardboard box sizes for a logistics company
  • Multi-kinect server - Sending compressed Kinect sensor data over TCP to solve the sensor proximity challenge, also merging of multiple Kinect sensors to offer full 360 point cloud data
  • Bubblecatch - WPF powered multiplayer game where players have to catch bubbles and avoid explosives
  • Kinect Juggling - Using Kinect sensor data to identify a thrown ball in a juggling context to analyse path and accuracy of juggler. Impressive tech and great potential for a juggling learning tool.
  • Kinect Kombat - Prototype first person beat-em-up, throw fireballs!
  • Helicar & Lewis - Placing 3D characters in a modelled 3D world, to be taken on the road to enable children to visualise their imagined environments
  • Kinect Shooter - Kinect enabled gun weilding shoot em up
  • 3D Fuser - Mapping kinect sensor camera data to 3D models

Prizes

The aim of Kinecthack London was to offer a fun, productive environment where developers could explore the capabilities of Kinect. As such aggressive competition wasn't part of the agenda. However, we did want to reward efforts so some rather special prizes were arranged for participation and outstanding contributions. Throughout the event we gave away a load of fun merchandise including Azure jelly beans, Microsoft Glow sticks and Xbox Onesies. We gave out 30 Kinect sensors to willing participants of our social media fun and games (check out the #kinecthacklondon hashtag) and raffled 3 raspberry pi 2's, 3 raspberry pi starter kits, 4 sphero v2s (thanks to orbotix for these!). finally, our chosen top three projects received a sphero ollie awarded to tom bonner and his occulusvr + kinect project, a parrot jumping sumo awarded to and our grand prize a parrot ar drone won by julien for his incredible multi-kinect project.


What next?

Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive, everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves and some really fantastic projects were born. Nothing is confirmed yet but we're certainly keen to organise another event so watch this space!

Some other's thoughts on the event:


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