Kinect SDK voice control

Posted: June 21, 2011 in Dissertation, Kinect
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been biding my time for the past few weeks, waiting for the NUI middleware market to settle down a bit. It did settle down, and the obvious choice for my project was OpenNI with NITE and Avin’s Kinect drivers. That was until Microsoft launched its Kinect SDK Beta last week…

Microsoft have delivered a fantastic library of natural interface components which I really couldn’t ignore. In particular, the audio capabilities of the Kinect have barely been exploited at all until the official SDK came along. I’m not deep into it yet, but the microphone array is positional and can triangulate and extract audio from certain locations within a 3D space. Furthermore, it works in conjunction with the device’s 3D imaging capabilities. This means, for example, what once a player is detected by the camera, the microphones can single out audio emanating from that player. So if you have a room full of people talking or other background noise, the words coming from the player are extracted alone.

So now I have a problem. I had planned my project around 3D human physical gesture controls, believing audio control to be too difficult and large a task to achieve in the timescale. However, in a relatively short space of time I put together the following software which shows how to control Celestia using voice commands. It’s far from perfect, but some fine tuning will iron out those bugs and make it a genuine candidate for inclusion in my project.

If I want to include this I’ll have to go back to the ethics board for approval. A right pain, but possibly worth the hit for the extra marks potential…

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