Chrome extension and Kinect control the browser with gestures

By on November 26, 2010, 1:33 PM
A group of students at the MIT Media Lab Fluid Interfaces Group, devoted to move UI design past the typical keyboard-and-mouse interface, has turned the Kinect motion controller into a tool for Web browsing. They wrote an extension for Google Chrome called DepthJS (yes, it uses Javascript) so that surfers can manipulate the browser with just gestures.

The group has demonstrated fairly simple website navigation in their video, embedded below (via Engadget). Making a fist is for selecting while a swatting motion allows scrolling.

"DepthJS is a web browser extension that allows any any web page to interact with the Microsoft Kinect via Javascript," according to the video's description. "Navigating the web is only one application of the framework we built - that is, we envision all sorts of applications that run in the browser, from games to specific utilities for specific sites. The great part is that now web developers who specialize in Javascript can work with the Kinect without having to learn any special languages or code. We believe this will allow a new set of interactions beyond what we first developed."

For those of you that came here just to watch the video, here's a bonus one:

In the video above, the Munich-based software company Evoluce shows Windows 7 applications being controlled through Kinect. There's multitouch support, which we've seen before, based on the company's Multitouch Input Management (MIM) driver for Kinect. The user can easily zoom and resize images as well as draw using two hands at once.

User Comments: 6

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bioflex said:

sweet, the possibilities of kinect are endless. cant wait to grab one for my own self.

avoidz avoidz said:

I can see how this tech could be useful, but it's still early days. It's clearly slow and laggy, and imagine an office full of users waving their tired arms around all day.

g4mer said:

Its like VSync was on.

bugejakurt said:

Nice, although the traditional mouse and keyboard is far better. I mean you can get tired waving your hand just to click a link, too much energy is wasted for simple navigation.

Mikymjr Mikymjr said:

This is great. This shows one of the capabilties of kinect. Nice! I hope it gets just as capable as the fictional motionsensors in "ironman". "arms getting tired" it might happen, but you'll get exercise on them shoulders =P. Maybe they can set codes for just flickin your finger in the air while your hands are on the table. Just saying that theirs a lot that can be done by developing software for this device

vangrat said:

I see this more as an addition to the Keyboard and Mouse rather than a replacement. Sometimes it would be nice to just flick your hand and remove crap off the screen. At other times a mouse is definintely the better way to go for accuracy.

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