European Researchers’ Night 2013: One night, 300 European cities

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Exploring science through fun learning!

Visual Computing Lab took place on European Researcher’ Night (@NOESIS – 27th of September 2013) and demonstrated 2 applications: “Castle in the forest” and “RePlay penalties”. This is a mega event taking place every year on a single September night in about 300 cities all over Europe.

Over than 1000 kids and adults tried our applications!

RePlay penalties

“RePlay Penalties“ is a 3D video game based on interaction between the motion of the human body in the real world and a virtual 3D space using a Microsoft Kinect Sensor. Taking advantage of the skeleton data that Kinect is tracking in real time, in combination with the way that a football player is kicking the ball and the physics that take place in this action, the player can kick in front of the sensor, exactly as she/he is kicking a real ball. During the action of kicking, algorithms are calculating the force that the foot applies to the ball appropriately in order to simulate the real kicking. The laws of physics are close to realistic and the reaction of the ball is totally physical. The player is placed in a crowded stadium against the goalkeeper. The player has to kick four penalty kicks and score, so as more penalties he scores, the total score is higher. Overall, “RePlay Penalties” is a game that shows how a player can completely interact with a virtual environment and get the feeling that she/he immerses in a virtual world.
This research is supported by the EU funded project “RePlay”.

Castle in the forest

In the tele-immersive game “Castle in the Forest”, the player is captured by 4 Microsoft Kinect Sensors and is placed inside a virtual game environment. Utilizing real-time 3D-Reconstruction algorithms the player is immersed into the virtual world as a full body 3D replicant. The player is able to see himself/herself into the game and interact with the game environment. Initially, the player is placed deep inside the forest. The purpose of the game is for him/her to follow a path inside the forest that eventually will lead him/her in front of a castle. This is where the game ends. The player navigates inside the virtual world with special hand gestures. He/she is able to move forward, backward and rotate around himself/herself clockwise and counterclockwise. Along the path, there are several checkpoints that the player must visit in order, until s/he reaches the last checkpoint in front of the castle. Every time the player reaches a checkpoint, some special visual and sound effects are shown. There is even a special gesture which the player can use in order to trigger a thunder lighting effect in the environment, for the sake of entertainment. Overall, “Castle in the Forest” is a game prototype showing that the merging of real with virtual can provide an interesting and entertaining experience for the end user.
This work is supported by the EU funded project EXPERIMEDIA.