Kinect to the Future

When Microsoft first announced the Kinect in 2010, everyone went crazy. The thought of having a “Motion Sensing Input Device” inside of your own household was an amazing idea. Before diving into what opportunities the “Kinect” has opened up for the everyday household, it is necessary to explain what exactly the Kinect does. Microsoft explains it as “a slim, black, oblong 11½-inch wedge perched on a base, it allowed a gamer to use his or her body to throw virtual footballs or kick virtual opponents without a controller.” Although the Kinect has not had the best selling record, people who utilize it to its possibilities see that it was worth the initial $150 that they had paid. The reason people do not invest the money into getting a Kinect is because of the lack of games they provided at release. That being the case, many people have yet to see the potential that the Kinect has. There are two main focuses and purposes that the Kinect has: The speech recognition and being able to trace movement.

The voice recognition that is implemented into the Kinect is very handy and also quite effortless. Once someone says “Xbox” a endless list of possibilities appear that can all be controlled with your voice rather than a controller. If more households used this device to control their TV that could then lead to more voice recognition devices for the home user. Though, people also need to understand that it could also be very beneficial for someone who may have a difficult time changing the channel or other simple activities due to disabilities. By providing a different and more simpler way to do daily duties, it could have the potential to make someone’s life much easier.

Something that has already been in progress is the wider use of the motion control option that the Kinect has. It is not used as often as Microsoft expected, but they are finding other ways to use this device any way they can. A way the motion recognition could be used is for easier animation. In “Kinect Adventures”, the first game to be released with the Kinect, there is a time where the player can use different characters from the game and make short ten second videos where the player controls the body. By having this as a part of the game, it foreshadows the possibilities that can occur. Animating objects and bodies takes time, but if someone had the ability to portray exactly what they wanted through the movement of their body, it could limit the time that it takes to produce the animation.

As for gaming, the original purpose of it’s development, the Kinect is full of endless possibilities. Though, it is hard to imagine that gamers will play a game for a long duration if it requires them to stand and be active. So, it would be in the best interest of Microsoft to focus on developing for the non-gamer because the Xbox has also turned into not only a gaming platform, but also an entertainment system. The games could be targeted towards a more casual family audience instead of the typical audience that they are used to catering towards. By developing more simplistic games that can be enjoyed by a large group of people, they can focus on a different target audience.

With the rate of technological growth, the Kinect has the potential to become something great for the future whether it is for gaming or for the everyday person. Microsoft has made a big step by producing the Kinect, and it has the potential to become a device that can be used for multiple purposes.

Sources:

http://www.engadget.com/tag/kinect/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/magazine/how-kinect-spawned-a-commercial-ecosystem.html?_r=0

http://news.microsoft.com/features/the-future-of-kinect/

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/meetkinect/default.aspx

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/accessories/kinect-for-xbox-one

http://support.xbox.com/en-US/browse/xbox-one/kinect/Gesture

Domain HostESS

Before doing this badge, I assumed that hosting your own site costed at least $20 per month, but after doing my research on what the best site to order off of was, I found that I was pretty far off. In actuality, most sites do not go above $10 per month. Although I still consider that way too much for a website (at least for my frugal self), I was able to find a site that costed no where near that. I was able to use the PCMAG20 coupon that PC Magazine provided when signing up for Arvixe.

Getting started was difficult for me. I had already paid, and when I went to the site to continue, I could not figure out what to do. The interface that it provided seemed data and very confusing to navigate. It did not provide me with the resources that I needed in order to understand this process as a first time costumer. Luckily, people in the class were able to provide information on how to work the site and I was able to follow their instructions a little.

Though, as of my luck, I can’t be that lucky. The website would not show up no matter what I did and it was frustrating. After messaging Doctor Delwiche of the issues I was having, he led me to a folder that I turned upside down in order to get my site working. I found an online template for my web page and kept it clean and simple.

Although the experience was overall frustrating, it is nice to know that if needed, I know how to produce a website from scratch. Below is a screenshot of my website that has finally and officially been launched so that people can find out a little more about myself. There is no theme or business idea because frankly there is not enough information about myself and hobbies that could fill an entire website. Once I find out more about myself and figure out who I am, maybe there is a chance this could be relaunched in the future.

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Miranda Reinhardt

http://www.mirandareinhardt.com/mc

Geo Nocation

I was initially pretty worried about doing this badge because that would then mean I would have to use Javascript… Though, many people in the class was able to do it, so I believed that I could as well. It took me and little longer than I wanted it to, but eventually I was able to make something appear.

I decided to add the Geolocation to my Minisite 3, because there was already a layout and that required me to do less work than actually wanted. So, therefore, I added it initially to the analysis page, but decided later that it fit in better with the Fairy Queen’s shopping page.

After watching Bill Weinman’s video over geolocation, I felt a little bit better about everything. Though, not to my surprise, as soon as I was ready to implement it, I started having difficulties. The first part that I was able to get showing was the longitude and latitude. After trying to get it to show up in my web browser with the continued no-show, I uploaded it to the server and it actually started working.

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By this point, I thought I was home free and that the map would give me no trouble, but just like Cat, I couldn’t get mine to appear. This is mainly the reason why I changed from the Analysis page to the Fairy Queen, I thought that maybe it would work on another page. To no surprise, it still did not work. After messing around with it, I realized that I had missed small things like a bracket here – a space there. It is not the prettiest of placements nor does it fit inside of the page correctly, but I got it to work, and that is what matters.

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After this badge, I am going to try and never touch Javascript again until it is absolutely necessary. Or I can start from square one and try learning it again, but that probably won’t happen.

Nerdy Minimalism

Minimalist designs have been getting an increased amount of attention lately due to people wanting an easier and cleaner layout. The most important part to a minimalist design is the object that is being accented, so therefore, it is crucial to make sure that design stands out as much as possible in comparison to the background.avatar-badge

The first minimalist design is a mock-up of an Avatar: The Last Airbender movie poster. First off, the background that was chosen is a scroll-like texture to give the poster more of an ancient feel. When deciding what is going to be the main focus of a minimalist design, you need something that is going to stand out and people will understand immediately. The most recognizable symbols to come out of this series are the icons for the element types. The symbols go from top to bottom: earth, water, fire, and air. Another way to emphasize their presence is to center the items. This way it draws the attention of the audience to their belonging. In order to not take from the symbols, no words have been incorporated.

Typically, the figures are laid on top of backgrounds that correlate to their colors, but by removing the backgrounds it provides a more simple design. Also, it allows the four symbols to appear as one instead of having them be four separate objects. This made the design more minimalistic. Another design decision, was to place the two strongest colors in the middle. This way the eye can be drawn directly to the middle and then pan out from there. These two symbols also happen to be the most recognizable in the series.

ward-badgeThe next minimalist design is a 1920 x 1080 desktop background. The theme for this design comes from a game called League of Legends. In League of Legends, players can buy items that are called “wards”. Wards are used to light up a small area of the map for a limited amount of time. The background is green in order to symbolize the forests and tall grass that wards are usually placed in.

Originally, the ward had lines for dimension and detail, but in order to make it more minimalistic, those had to come out. Instead, the lines (in the brown area) were kept in order to make the pictures more recognizable, because without it, it does not look correct. You need to be careful in when deciding what to keep in each design. The design needs to look flat, but it can’t take away from what the object actually is. Another decision in order to make this design more interesting is the lighting effect that was added. Like previously stated, wards light up a small amount around them. Anywhere outside of the wards light is dark and the players cannot see what is happening in those areas. The blue at the top of the ward is the point that releases the light, so by putting the brightest point of light on top of it, gives it the illusion that it is giving off the light.

Minimalist designs are the original “less is more” statement. They are straight forward designs that are simple for an audience to understand. With lack of time being a problem in today’s society, people are looking for simplicity that is not as overwhelming as their life.

The Evil Javascript

The site I decided to make is based off of my favorite game, The Legend of Zelda. Unlike everyone else, I decided to make my front page based off of the search engine “Bing”. I like the idea of the big picture backgrounds so that is why it continues throughout the site. The HTML and CSS was fun to create because of me going crazy over the opportunity to do a Zelda themed site, but when it came to Javascript, I was ready to quit.

Multiple times I catch myself getting lost of forgetting how to do things in Javascript, it is just the one language that is the absolute most foreign, and I praise anyone who actually understands it. I spent multiple days trying to figure out my javascript — how it works/why it won’t work. Therefore I spent my time studying multiple peers “.js” pages in order to better understand how mine should work and why it still didn’t work. Luckily, there are people in the class who can better help teach me than me leading my own blind self.

The home page because it is the prettiest background image!
The home page because it is the prettiest background image!

Here is my site,

Enjoy, everyone!

Miranda

Wireframe Wizard Badge

This badge was not too difficult for me to do because I do enjoy working with Balsamiq due to it’s simplistic browser. Being someone who has been a part of many fan sites, I thought that I would make that the theme of my three web pages. Generally, at least with my own experience, when going to a fan site I want it to be simple and have the most used areas of the site to have a quick and easy access.

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After working with JavaScript for the amount that we have, it helped me think of other things that I could do with this site through the use of JavaScript so it gave me more options to choose from. As always, my pages are pretty simplistic, because like I said previously, fan sites are best when things are easy to find and the community seems well fit. Here is the link to the more in depth analysis’ for how the pages were set up.