Art installation uses Kinect in a new way

Art installation uses Kinect in a new way

As most WinBeta readers are probably aware, Microsoft’s Kinect camera/sensor for the Xbox One can be used for more than busting a move in Dance Central Spotlight or slicing food in Fruit Ninja. In the past year, several teams of artists and programmers have incorporated the technology into several interesting projects ranging from giving spectators the ability to control water fountains in China to allowing a conductor to create music with basic body gestures in the U.S..

The latest use of the technology also comes from the U.S. in the form of a music and light installation in New York City called Delqa which incorporates music by the experimental pop artist Matthew Dear.

“I wanted to compose a sonic dreamscape, fully realizing that dreams are weird and not always black and white,” Dear says in an interview with Microsoft. “The music rests between peaceful and chaotic states, allowing the listener to come up with their own story while engaging with the piece.”

The basic premise of the art installation is to have the music and lighting effects change in response to the movements of the audience in the space but the process is more advanced than it sounds. The mesh fabrics used in the installation are transparent to the Kinect’s color and infrared cameras but are opaque to the device’s depth camera. This contrast allows the Kinect camera to detect both the sheet of fabric and the people behind it simultaneously to scan movement and adjust the light projections and sound at the same time.

“The beautiful thing is that it’s impossible to predict how people will react to Delqa,” admits Dear. “A project of this nature is full of unknowns, conjured up in workshops and sound studios. When we open the doors to Delqa for the first time, we’ll finally see where all of our wild ideas got us.”

Delqa is open from this Thursday to Sunday in the New Museum’s NEW INC space. What’s the coolest use of Kinect that you’ve seen? Let us know in the comments below.

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