This week is the final week of blogs by the challengers. I won't go through individual entries since pretty much all of them are at the wrap up / polish stage.
The overwhelming feeling you get when reading the blogs is one of a challenge accepted and, almost, tamed. This is uncharted territory for the contestants and that territory is not paved smoothly: the SDK is in beta and the capabilities of the hardware are still limited. There's a lot of things that would be great if they worked, but they don't. Sizense wanted to have their Big Bad Wolf puppet blow the little piggy puppet's house down by blowing on the mic. "Blowing on a mic" is not a recognised word so it can't happen. Code-Monkeys (and many others) wanted head tracking - or even gaze tracking - but the hardware simply isn't up to it at the moment. Infrared5 simply want more grunt from the Lenevo.
It's close. Really, really close and while the contestants were not always able to achieve their first order approximation of what they wanted, they have done exactly what good developers do and focus on what the outcome they want is, and then work backwards. Instead of finger tracking you use thumb tracking, instead of eye tracking you use head tracking, instead of head tracking you use body mass tracking. Instead of tracking everything just do your tracking work on the object (eg hand) you want to track and ignore all other input data. Speed improvements came quickly, as did a usable (but maybe not perfect) solution.
The point is computing power is always increasing, the SDK will only improve, the hardware will become more refined and more responsive (and offload much of the software based processing) and we will get there. Quickly.
We get the final (final) versions of the apps soon and it will be then that we, the judges, have to dive in and ask ourselves two basic questions
1. What is perceptual computing? 2. Who knocked it out of the park?
Thanks for all your encouragement over the last few weeks Chris. Reading the judge's comments have been a real highlight over the weeks and I would have to say that last weeks was one of the funniest posts I've ever read, so kudos for that.
With the competition, I tried to stay with what was in the SDK, and I stand in awe of what the other competitors produced. As for point 2, the answer (to me) is easy - Lee. Clean out the park, and 3 counties of clearance.
I was brought up to respect my elders. I don't respect many people nowadays.