Ignite Australia 2017 Wrap-up


Last week I had the pleasure to present at Ignite Australia. I’ve missed the last few as it’s coincided with overseas trips so moving to February worked out well.

I presented Lessons from Hollywood: Building the interactions of tomorrow today. It was a big different to the techy talks I normally do as it was a bit more conceptual and covered a lot of things in a broader way.

Overall I was happy with it and I got to show Dippy to one lucky audience member. It was really nice a few people found me on the Thursday and asked if they could meet Dippy and lucky for them I  just so happened to have my HoloLens with me.

I had some fun with the projector half way through an could no longer see anything on my laptop screen even after trying duplicate, extend etc so just had to suck it up and demo from the projector.

Had a bit of a demo glitch but people didn’t seem to mind too much.

I showed a bunch of technologies and hopefully gave people some ideas.

Things we covered:

Surface Dial and the new Radial Controller Class

Kinect For Windows

Power BI


Cognitive Services

You can check out the presentation here. Unfortunately you miss out on seeing all the awesome audience participation I had as it’s just the laptop and microphone feed.

Altering Font Size Based on User Proximity Using Kinect


One of the things we discussed at our recent presentation covering Kinect was using is in the periphery as an aide rather than being the centre of attention.

The concept was simple- as the user moves closer or farther away to a screen, use the kinect depth sensor to detect this and some code to change the font size so it’s easier for the user to read.

The code to do this (in its most simple form) is also quiet straight forward.


We start with a basic XMAL grid – I’ve gone with some simple Lorem  Ipsum text. Then we’re going to put a binding on the FontSize of the text. To get an idea on distance I’m going to display how far the user is from the screen in metres.


In the codebehind we create variables to store our KinectSensor, our BodyFrameReader and an array of bodies.


In our MainWindow we then grab a reference to the Kinect Sensor, open the body frame reader and sensor.


In our MainWindow_Loaded event we hook to the bodyframeReader’s FrameArrived event (this is where the good stuff goes) and in our closing make sure we clean up our code.


In our reader’s frame arrived event we grab the body data. Then I grab the first tracked body (ie me).

There’s lots of options for which joint/s to use by I’m just going to grab the head and as long as it’s bring tracked I’m going to use it’s Z coordinate.


I set my property we bind on screen to display on screen to the current Z value and also refire logic to calculate what font size we should use.  I’ve just chosen to do a multiplication factor on the distance buy you could get a lot more fancy.

Presentation in Johannesburg – Preparation for the NUI – a developers survival guide


Today we visited Microsoft Johannesburg office and presented about preparing for NUI.

We covered some history, talked about all type of sensors and senses, Kinect, and of course the potential for HoloLens.


We had some great audience participation with our activities and we always love catching up with locals on our travels.

Imagine Cup–Australian Finals


Another event near and dear to my heart – Imagine Cup. I’ve been involved with the competition since 2010 and I can truly say it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

This year I was one of the judges for the Australian finals in Sydney.

A great set of teams with equally great ideas battling it out for a chance to represent us in the Worldwide finals. 

There was a great spread of ideas with Empathy training for Alzheimers using Oculus and Kinect, Windows Phone app that allows people to record their mood and using artificial intelligence algorithms to determine if you might need a friendly phone call etc., staff location tracking for use in emergency situations, gas leak detection etc.

Good luck to the winners!

Kinect For Windows v2–big news


While I was on holidays with no internet braving some big ocean waves some really awesome stuff happened with Kinect For Windows – V2 was officially released – go download it from here!

But that’s not all the exciting news….

Deploy to the Windows Store – now we can deploy kinect v2 apps to the windows store which makes getting your apps out to a wider audience easier!

There’s a few K4W apps already on there to try it out: Kinect Evolution, 3D Builder, and YAKiT

Adapter for XBox One Kinect – this one I was so excited about when I heard. You can now also buy an adapter that lets you use your existing XBbox One Kinect on your PC! And in Australia is $59.99 on the Microsoft store.

Windows To Go–Dev’ing Kinect when you don’t have an Win8 PC


For those running a Mac or a pc running something other the Windows 8 or 8.1 you can still develop with Kinect v2 SDK. The Kinect Team have put together a great post on a few alternatives here.

My favorite is Windows To Go – Which allows you to set up on an external HDD .  The Kinect team have given a great step by step guide on how to set it all up.  There’s also a great list of recommended USB HDD hardware here to help.

This is going to be great for courses, hackathons etc when people don’t have access to Win 8 for their own machine aswell as those die hard Mac and Win7 people.