Friday, 2 August 2013

Showcase your Powerpoint pesentations skills with the Kinect Showreel

So giving you the insider scoop on the fabulous things one can do with this set up are having pictures sliding in the background and a person talking in front of the images/video to superimposing moving objects or people for a 3D effect. The capabilities are just beginning and are endless, plus even more exciting to see is a spectrum of subject matters/people using this set up for their work.

How many times have you been told to practise in front of a mirror before you go and give a presentation. Now you can record and watch yourself in action (aka reflective learning). And if you're brave like me, you can put your video online for all to see. If you'd like me to put your video on my youtube channel, please feel free to send it to me.

Key features of the Kinect Showreel:

  • Practice for that important presentation you are about to give.
  • Use it for remote presentation e.g. by using Skype's desktop sharing feature.
  • Record your presentation and get feedback from your peers.
  • Improve on your presentation skills by guaging the your use of your hands (too much/too little), smile, voice, eye contact, posture, mannerisms and confidence. Note that your Kinect would have to be positioned properly for you to be able to guage eye contact.



If you are looking for a little bit more humour, you can watch the making of my video. Interestingly, even though I was not in front of an audience, I still had the same fear/nervousness that I always have as my presentation looms. You might find that the software helps you to cope with this. I make no promises. I would certainly like to have your opinions on if it helps. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see how frustrated I can get with myself. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, my son decided to disrupt Dad's presentation. Oh no! Have fun watching ... 



Application

Kinect Showreel is based on the green screen demo released in the Microsoft Kinect SDK samples. I made some changes (nothing sophisticated) to improve the contours but it's still very flickery on the hair. The reason it works well with me is because I don't have much hair really. :D

For now, the application is able to load images or videos. I have ideas on how to extend the functionalities (e.g. gesture control) but I would like to guage the level of interest. There are some windows functionalities that are buggy. Don't resize the windows and don't move the window while the application is recording. You've been warned... :)

For powerpoint presentations, you'll need to save your powerpoint as a video (wmv) before you can load it within the application. You can use the pause button to pause presentations while you are speaking. You can rewind as needed. Forward button can be buggy in certain situations, which I'm yet to figure out.

It's free for non-commercial use and feel free to send me your updates to the code so I can integrate it. At this point, I'd like to give a shout out to Karl Sanford's project, which I used in my project to try and improve the noisy pixels around the holes and contours.

Download Kinect Showreel

Download source code

Requires:
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 and above
Microsoft Expression Encoder 4.0 SP2
Kinect for Windows Runtime v1.7 (includes drivers)