GestureTek, creator of gesture-driven user interfaces, and Xpletive, innovators of immersive applications using next-generation technologies, have unveiled a space-age, custom-designed interactive attraction at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. GestureTek is the inventor and multiple patent holder of camera-enabled gesture control technology for interactive displays and entertainment experiences.
This cutting-edge immersive display, called the B.C. Explorer, was commissioned by the 2010 BC Olympic and Paralympic Games Secretariat to promote the Vancouver Winter Games and stimulate tourism and investment in Canada's province of British Columbia.
The exhibit utilizes GestureTek's patented hand tracking interface, robust visualization software, state-of-the-art 3D infrared camera technology, detailed geospatial data and a curved panoramic projection dome to immerse users in the exhilarating experience of flying over the province of British Columbia.
GestureTek's system tracks hand movement in complete 3D space, capturing depth information with unparalleled accuracy and resolution. The effect is an incredibly authentic 3D interactive experience that can be delivered without the need for a remote or any other peripheral device.
Users interact with the B.C. Explorer with simple, intuitive gestures and control the experience by tilting, rotating or making a fist with their hand. "Flight Mode" lets users fly though lush forests, over mountains, along shorelines or through cities. Pushing the hand forward makes users fly faster. Tilting the hand sends users into a low flight pattern or a graceful arc across the sky. Making a fist stops the flight so that users can explore points of interest by playing full screen HD movies on the main screen in the user's designated language.
"Never before have so many revolutionary technologies in video gesture control, electronic depth perception, immersion and modern aviation been integrated into one installation. The effect is a breathtaking immersive experience that rivals anything found in themed entertainment," said Kelly Ellzey, President and Co-Owner of Xpletive.
GestureTek's 3D image processing middleware can be integrated into any interactive solution to deliver the most advanced interactions possible between a user and the virtual world. The user interface can also be used to deploy 3D experiences on personal computers, game consoles, mobile devices, digital signs and other interactive computing surfaces. GestureTek's patented 3D gesture control technology uses depth sensing cameras to measure ongoing changes in positioning and distance between the various aspects of a user's image and/or other changes in the scene in order to process lifelike 3D images onscreen. Immersion technology even allows the user to see their real-time full-body video image onscreen, or a 3D avatar, as they interact dynamically with computer-generated characters, objects and icons in a three dimensional virtual world.
The project is the first commercial application of the 3D depth sensing technology, and future uses include 3D avatar representation for information sharing, interactive immersive advertising and digital signage, virtual rehabilitation exercise programs for health care, and finger tracking "point to control" applications. Five kiosks will be deployed over the next year, according to GestureTek President Vincent John Vincent.
GestureTek's full library of patents and technologies is available for license to developers and manufacturers of PCs, consoles and other electronics hardware, applications, appliances and peripherals. Current examples of licensees include Monster Media for their digital signage network, Sony for the EyeToy, Microsoft for the Xbox 360, Hasbro for their ION Educational Gaming System, Reactrix for interactive advertising and NTT DoCoMo for their mobile handsets.