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Artists Allegedly Use Kinect To Scan Bust of Nefertiti, Release Data For Free Online

Last October, a pair of German artists covertly scanned the bust of Queen Nefertiti in Berlin's Neues Museum and released the collected dataset online, causing a wave of controversy in the art world over the idea of ownership. The device allegedly used to scan the priceless piece of art? An Xbox 360 Kinect.  

Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles, the two artists responsible for scanning the priceless bust, feel its rightful home is in Cairo. Using the data collected, they recreated the work and used a 3D printer to make a copy now known as The Other Nefertiti, which currently resides in the American University of Cairo. 

The video below shows Al-Badri discreetly carrying the Kinect sensor behind a scarf. The scanning was done without the Neues Museum’s permission, which closely guards the bust and refuses to share its own scan data of the prized piece of art.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Since the data’s release, however, some have called the authenticity of the scanning into question. A Kinect scanner requires an outside power source, and scanning through glass presents a major problem as it distorts incoming light. Some have suggested that the data of the bust was actually leaked to
the artists by a museum insider, and the Kinect story was fabricated in order
to protect the source’s identity.

Whatever the case, it’s nice to see a controversy surrounding the Kinect that isn’t about its alleged lack of functionality.  

[Source: Hyperallergic] – The Feed

Opinion – I Like The Kinect Because It Enables Me To Be Lazy

It’s a controversial opinion to share, but it's one I can’t pretend about anymore – I like Kinect.

I live in a house of interruptions thanks to my miniature human roommate, and as a result, the Kinect has become invaluable. It’s not its many advertised exercise functions and games that make me appreciate it so much. I couldn’t find the option to turn off gesture controls fast enough when I first hooked everything up. Rather, it’s a handful of limited voice commands I use constantly.

The words “Xbox on,” “Xbox play,” “Xbox pause,” “Xbox volume up,” and “Xbox volume down,” are all used daily in my household. It has far and away become the preferred method of control over the remote, or the controller, and made the Xbox One the foremost hub for all television entertainment over the other competing Netflix players hooked up to the TV. Using the Xbox One’s Kinect is faster than turning on the controller and less effort than tracking down the remote, making it perfect for when a child needs your help immediately to look at something important.

Usually, it's to make sure I acknowledge things like this have happened.

I’ve always admired the novelty of talking to my TV, but never saw it as practical. There is an embarrassing stigma related to talking to your electronics, partly because they don’t work 100% of time (which is absolutely the case with the Kinect), but also because it’s a new technology. When text messaging first started taking off, I recall the older generation questioning why you wouldn’t just make a call. The answer, as it turns out, is platitudes are time consuming, and often you just need a quick, straightforward response.

I initially felt the same way about talking to my console to control my entertainment – why not just use a remote? After nearly two years with the Xbox One, it turns out the answer is somewhat similar. Platitudes are time consuming (in this case looking for the controller, and acknowledging it by turning it on) and the quicker I can get the volume up or down, or pause a movie the better.

This picture makes sense in context, I promise.

In terms of playing games, I still struggle to find value with the Kinect. I have always enjoyed the Dance Central games, but that’s where my list of favorite Kinect games starts and stops. From a gaming perspective, the device has always been pitched as an excuse to get up and move into your game. It’s a lovely idea, but it simply doesn’t work well enough, even with the best floor plan and lighting. If I have to get up, move, and exert substantial effort to play a game, the least you can do for me is work properly.

It’s ironic that after finally finding a practical use for the Kinect, it is one born of laziness. I love telling my Kinect to turn the volume down or to pause a movie because it enables me to avoid that extra bit of effort related to finding a remote, or turning on the controller and press a few buttons. I may not be playing games with the Kinect, or waving hello at it to select items from the menu, but after finally getting over the stigma of speaking at my TV for standard playback functions, I can’t imagine using the Xbox One, and by extension watching TV and movies, without it.

To see the time the Xbox One's Kinect thought I was a giraffe, head here. – The Feed

Microsoft Unifies Kinect Products As Windows Version Discontinued

Microsoft has announced that the Kinect for Windows v2 has been discontinued. The company is working to transition developers to the Kinect for Xbox One, creating a universal solution.

Microsoft says it has had trouble keeping up with demand for the standalone sensors in some markets. However, the Xbox One version is readily available. 

In order to use one of the console sensors with a Windows 8 or 8.1 PC, you’ll need a $ 49.99 adapter. The two cameras are functionally identical, so if you’ve been having a hard time finding one for PC, this is your way in.

The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor went on sale in July 2014. Developers have been using the technology for a variety of practical applications, including health and music. You can see a number of projects on the Kinect for Windows Blog.

[Source: Microsoft via Engadget]


Our Take
Unifying the products makes far more sense than two distinct sensors. Kinect might be a bust as far as gaming is concerned (unless we’re talking about Harmonix), but the broader applications seem to have promise. – The Feed

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