Welcome to the Jungle!

There’s a lot of cool stuff happening at OpenNI and we always welcome more! If you’re new to the OpenNI developer jungle, or been monkeying around here for a while, you know we have a lot of incredible people working on lots of amazing, ground-breaking projects. There are more than 85,000 monthly downloads of the OpenNI SDK. That’s a lot of exciting ideas to keep track of! With such a large field of topics, we thought it might be best to highlight one topic each month and feature your work in that field.

We’ll share with you what we’re up to, but we want you to share with us what you’re up to! So this is your call to brag a little — we want to know what you are out there creating and how you are using sensors in new and innovative ways.  If you’ve got something that fits one of these categories — or, hey, give us a new category! — tell us all about it or show us, we love videos.

To start, this month we’ll tell you about some innovative Natural Interaction uses for healthcare. Some topics to look forward to in upcoming months are: Clean Tech, Smart Grid and Robots. Let us know if you’re working in these areas and stay tuned!

 

OpenNI for HEALTHCARE

BioGaming is no ordinary physical rehabilitation session. When the team started work on their software, they asked, “How can we take advantage of the benefits of the gaming world and use them in the medical world?” Their first step was to consult with Dr. Alon Kalron, BioGaming’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Kalron provided the developer team with a set of physical exercises they then transformed into a gaming experience for the patient.

While physical rehabilitation is incredibly necessary — especially in a world constantly focused on back pain, it can also be quite tedious and time consuming. The beauty of rehabilitation in the gaming world is that the patient becomes so absorbed in the gaming experience, they forget they are exercising. Patients are doing the exercises their doctor has prescribed without feeling bored or pressured. Using OpenNI SDK and PrimeSense sensors, BioGaming turns the patient into an engaged gamer, speeding up recovery and freeing the doctor from worrying about getting the patient to do the exercises outside of the office. Check out a video of BioGaming performing exercises.

 

Oriense is devoted to helping the visually impaired and totally blind navigate their world. With PrimeSense sensors and OpenNI SDK, Oriense hopes to do away with the walking stick. The system is still in its seed stage, but their continued dedication to make the system – which uses PrimeSense sensors to detect the layout of objects and obstacles in front of the user and relay this information into a set of headphones — lightweight and affordable means an innovative and doable solution for the visually impaired. Check out a video of a test subject navigating a room of objects.

 

KinectoTherapy is also using OpenNI SDK and PrimeSense technology to create a virtual gaming environment for rehabilitation exercises. KinectoTherapy implements exercise routines given to their team by therapists to target different parts of the body and aid people with motor disabilities stemming from cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, post-stroke and hereditary muscle ailments among a few.

KinectoTherapy’s goal is to create a virtual gaming environment that gives patients a full-body interaction in various mini-games that completely engage the patient in their prescribed exercises without realizing they’re exercising. KinectoTherapy is being used in both rehabilitation clinics and in private homes. Check out the amazing stuff KinectoTherapy is doing.

 

Guess what? You may not have designed your product for use in a healthcare setting, but turns out it’s not that difficult for the healthcare world to find a way to use your product to fit its needs. A great example of this is Visikord, a reigning champ in nightclub entertainment with its interactive software controlled by dancer’s moves and set to the beat of the DJs picks. Imagine Visikord’s surprise, when a special needs teacher in the UK wrote to Visikord that he’s been using the dance club software in his classroom. And, students took to the software with surprising results, communicating in ways they never had before and having fun. Visikord’s use of OpenNI SDK and PrimeSense sensors, means students can bypass the mouse and keyboard and interact naturally with the screen in front of them.

Visikord in the classroom was so successful, the teacher set up a wiki on how to use PrimeSense tech and NI for special needs education.

Amazing contributions to the healthcare world and our developers made it fun! We love seeing what happens when talented people use our open source SDK and PrimeSense technology, using sophisticated software for solutions to better lives every day. You Rock!