Microsoft researchers convert regular 2D camera into a Kinect

Microsoft researchers convert regular 2D camera into a KinectWe saw many new research papers being presented at the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference which is currently going on. Microsoft too revealed some of its projects under development at the event including the one where its researchers converted a regular 2D camera into a motion detecting infrared camera with just a few minor hardware changes.

For those who don’t know, SIGGRAPH is a community of researchers, artists and developers who share an interest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Every year, SIGGRAPH keeps a conference, wherein researchers show off the development and research in the field of graphics.

Microsoft revealed its new research on converting 2D camera into a Kinect like device at the event. The researchers at the company managed to transform a traditional 2D camera like the one found on a  smartphone or a monitor webcam into an infrared camera which can capture per pixel depth in real time. All this was possible with just a few minor tweaks which were cheap.

The resulting camera was able to detect human interactions, which meant it could be used for next generation hand gestures. Further, Microsoft said that the camera was comparable to high quality depth camera currently available in the market. The company also notes that the tweaked device is much cheaper and compact than a traditional depth camera and consumes less power.

This research could potentially change the way humans interact with computers and smartphones. Soon we may find such cheap depth cameras on our everyday devices which mean we may find more gesture-centric applications and features on upcoming devices.

Microsoft is also working on another project which uses a RGB depth camera integrated with software to capture 3D models of people and objects which shift and deform in real time. With this research, graphic artists can develop 3D models of real objects much faster than before.

The company also showed off an interesting project about GoPro at the event. Its researchers managed to smoothen out shaky GoPro first person videos making them easier to watch. Usually, sports enthusiasts use time lapse videos to show off their skills in first person, however, most of the times, it aggravates the camera shaking.

Microsoft researchers have developed a tool called Hyper Lapse which takes in action videos and converts them into smooth time lapse videos. This makes GoPro videos easier to watch which will definitely make fans as well as sports enthusiasts happy.

There’s two more days left for the conference to end, so we expect some more interesting research papers at the event.

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About the author

Joel is an experienced blogger who covers all kinds of news relating to tech. He is a huge fan of Android and can be seen playing around with his phone in his spare time.