Kinect Hack Makes Laser Dance Show, Turns Your Living Room Into a Nightclub

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Sick of going to the club to party it up and dance the night away? No longer do you have to leave your own home; now you can bring the party to you and pump it up with a Kinect hack laser show and some sweet beats to go with it.

Using the Kinect's motion tracking and mapping feature to his advantage, Kinect hacker Matt Davis made his body into an audio-visual controller. As Matt explains, by moving his left hand along the z-axis (from the front of his body to the back of his body), he controls where the focal point of the lasers moves (they aim forward or back); using his right hand x-axis (left to right) controls lateral (side-to-side) motion for the lasers; and on the right y-axis (up and down) is the size and so-called "craziness" of the lasers.

Also associated with each of these movements are various audio effects: Moving his left hand on the z-axis adjusts something called the master filter; moving his right hand up or down changes the frequency of the sound, and so on. Make sure to check out the video above for all the details.

The Kinect communicates with OpenNI (an interface that allows communication between devices like the Kinect and middleware), which talks to Max/MSP (a visual programming language used in music and multimedia), which finally talks to Ableton Live (a music sequencer that can utilize digital audio and/or MIDI data). Matt also explains that the system is also talking to a laser control system by Henry Strange (yes, very strange indeed, but seriously, his music his pretty cool!).

With all of these audio and visual effects joined together, Matt can make some interesting dance music just by moving his body. Since Kinect is capable of simultaneously tracking up to 20 joints on two players, you could take things up a notch by inviting a friend over. Just imagine what the possibilities of this would be if you added in a kaossilator (a wicked awesome synthesizer)!

[Matt Davis on Vimeo via Create Digitial Music and Engadget]

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