Monday, February 20, 2012

A Sandbox I Wish I had as a Kid

When I think about the XBox Kinect, I think about gaming and hours lost in another world. However these days, it is being used as a tool in medical imaging, robotics, and even aids for the visually impaired. When I saw this image on Pinterest, I wasn't quite sure what this was all about, but the more I read on it, the more impressed I became. And can you imagine the muse crack? All of these uses are no longer a thing of sci-fi. They're becoming reality.

So what is this picture all about? Well, it's a sandbox, or what is being called the SandyStation. this realistic ecosystem was created by two students (Peter Altman and Robert Eckstein) in the Czech Republic. Using a Kinect, a data projector, a program of their own design and an ordinary box of sand, they can create stunning geographical models. Prepping the Kinect above the sandbox, it monitors the varying heights and depths of the area and then relays the information through a program to the projector. The projector then displays the topographical information on top of the sandbox in different colours that represent different heights or depths (i.e. dark blues for water, greens for hills, etc). Not only that but it can respond to any immediate changes as well! So if you decide you want a river and start to dig in the sand, you can water the "water" flow into the new channel.

Check out the lava when he digs a hole in the hill! Apparently if it mixes with the water it looks like it "extinguishes". Very cool.

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