A cloud. On a phone.

“The Cloud” is great isn’t it. For storing stuff and processing stuff and making stuff scalable. “Stuff” has never had it so good. Most of the world seems to be putting its “stuff” into the cloud. A lot of applications now process “stuff” in the cloud. At this rate the computer will soon be moving towards the dumb terminals of the 1970’s and 80’s. Which in some weird way brings me to my point. You see, our mobile phones are already doing a lot of processing of stuff in the cloud and it’s becoming a rather large nuisance; for me anyway.

A few months ago I had to start using an Android phone (for those who don’t know, I’m waiting for the Nokia 1020 before I upgrade and I’ve recently lost the use of the Nokia 900 I had) and I made good use of the Google Navigation app. Whilst it lacked a few of the features I was used to on the Nokia Drive app it did at least do the navigation bit to a high enough standard that I arrived at my destination.

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“Beginners Guide to the Kinect API”, a session aimed at scratching the surface of the Microsoft Kinect API, got its first outing last night at Dev South Coast, a monthly developers meetup in Southampton (previously known as NxtGen Southampton).

Kinect at Dev South Coast

The session went through the various streams of data available from the Kinect – such as audio, camera, infrared, depth, skeletal face mapping and skeletal structure mapping. Each stream had a demo and a dive into the code used. Unfortunately the audio demo decided it didn’t want to listen, however we were able to move on and take a look at the camera feeds which thankfully did work correctly.

One nugget of information I wanted to get over to the attendees was that the Kinect API makes it easy to grab the post-processed data from the Kinect. The streams are really easy to pick up and the API delivers the data through events which you can easily handle. Streams such as the ColorStream() deliver camera images, add in the event of .ColorFrameReady and it’s so easy to pick up the camera frame through the event arguments (e.ColorFrame) – I don’t think it could be easier!

I’ve put the session forward for DDD North and hopefully it will be picked by the attendees as it was a session I really enjoyed. Giving a talk at an event such as DDD North is a little less nerve-wracking that last nights’ talk as at a DDD event the attendees have the ability to move into a different session if they don’t connect with the topic or the spreaker. At a Dev South Coast event there is no other session, it’s like having a captive audience. Last nights session was also the first one where I’ve broken into doing live code demos – thank goodness for Coderush and templates!

Hopefully the session was enjoyable – just waiting for the Dev South Coast feedback.