We have a decent sized play area for our Kinect but do find with 2 players we need to shift a bit of furniture and can get a bit dangerous when the person you’re playing against is 6’4” and has a really long arm span in some of the games. When we’re playing with the KinectSDK we often want to get a bit closer to the kinect for some of our tests than what it allows at the moment.
Decided to buy a Nyko Zoom and see what effect it had. I’d seen the ads for them and have been keen to see how much putting a lense over the Kinect messes with the optics/sizes etc. EBGames are selling them in store at the moment for $40. It’s really easy to mount to the Kinect and even comes with a protective bit of plastic if you’re planning on taking the lense on and off a bit. It slots on well and easy to tell if you’ve put it in the right spot.
Zoom with XBox and Kinect
First I tried it on our Kinect we use on our XBox with the classic “Kinect Adventures”. I found at the borders of the 2 zone space I got about 30cm extra I could come forward and to each side. While it’s not a massive improvement, it does mean we’re well clear of the furniture when we need to stretch from front to back and should give me an extra bit of room when I play any of the games against someone tall.
In the one player zone space I found I could get quite a bit further forward but I then ran into trouble with the projector and the top of my head casting shadows over the screen. So the 1 player zone should work quite well on smaller children who seem to like to get really close to the screen. Think we might give it a good test over Christmas
I think it could be really handy if you don’t quite have enough space for your Kinect with your XBox at home.
Zoom with PC and Kinect SDK
Next up…what does it do for us when we move it to the pc with the Kinect SDK. At the closest point, the depth camera now allowed me to get about 30-40 cm closer to the Kinect before it couldn’t see me anymore. At the furthest point I lose about 1.2 metres in depth. Not surprising, but it also distorts all the measurements. It picks up all the depth and skeleton information just fine, but instead of thinking I’m 180cm tall it thinks I’m about 140.
I think this could be really handy if you need to be able to use the sensor at closer ranges as long as you don’t need to use the height etc. data straight from the Kinect.