Game Development Reference
Programming for the Kinect
At the time of writing, integration of the Kinect with Unity is in its infancy,
although there are some compelling examples on the Unity forum. For
the interested reader, the author recommends starting with the example
Unity project available from https://github.com/tinkerer/UnityWrapper .
You will also need to install OPENNI and drivers to get the Kinect to talk
to your desktop computer.
Succeeding the technology of the Kinect are systems such as the Stage
System by Organic Motion ( http://organicmotion.com/ ). Currently used for
real-time motion capture, this system has the potential to make games that
are projected onto all the walls of a room where the player is positioned right
in the center of the action. The Stage System has the ability to capture true
full-body 3D-surround motion and structure with the use of its six cameras.
It differs from the Kinect in that the Kinect only captures distances from the
device itself to whatever is in front of it and tracks for key human features such
as hands, feet, and head. Technologies such as these are driving games toward
full-body immersive systems reminiscent of Star Trek's Holodeck.
8.4 Accessing Mobile Hardware Features
Believe it or not, mobile phones weren't originally designed for playing games.
However, as games have become more popular on the platforms and their
hardware and screens have advanced, games taking advantage of all the devices
have to offer have grown in numbers. Primarily these include interacting with
touch screens, inbuilt motion sensors, and location-based services.
This section explains these features and how to access them from within
Accelerometers are electromechanical devices that measure acceleration
forces. A circuit board, no bigger than a fingernail, can measure its angle
of tilt by detecting the downward force of gravity and how fast it is
traveling by sensing motion and vibration. Modern mobile devices have a
microelectromechanical systems accelerometer integrated. These consist of
a simple cantilever beam attached to a seismic mass sealed in a gas pocket.
The beam acts as a bendable needle that moves under accelerative forces.
Imagine the pendulum of a grandfather clock on the back of a truck and how
it would move as the truck accelerates. The accelerometer is, in principle, the
same. The movement of the beam is measured and reported as acceleration.
These same type of accelerometers are also found in the Nintendo Wii Remote
and its Nunchuk and the PlayStation 3 Dual Shock 3 controller.