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26 July 2012, 12:25

Google making spaces interactive

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Zoom Google's example of Interactive Spaces
Source: Google

Google has announced an open source software framework for tracking objects and people in a space and providing virtual interactions between them. The toolset is called Interactive Spaces, is written in Java and can theoretically run on any operating system with Java – currently, Linux and Mac OS X are supported, Windows support is coming soon.

To explain the project, Google provides the example of a room with a display built into the floor and cameras in the ceiling that track people in the space. The software creates circles under the feet of people entering the room, and these circles then follow them around. The framework accomplishes these interactions between tracked objects in the space and virtual objects on displays by providing an architecture to build activities and connect them to "producers" and "consumers" of events. Producers are peripherals like the cameras in Google's example, whereas the consumers would be the displays in the floor.

Besides Java, Interactive Spaces also supports JavaScript and Python for scripting purposes. Native applications can also be incorporated, including OpenFrameworks which uses C++. Google plans to add support for the Processing language as well since it is often used in interactive art installations.

Interactive Spaces is licensed under the Apache 2.0 licence and the source code for the project is available from Google Code.


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