Ultimate Coder 2

About the Challenge

The Ultimate Challenge. Seven developers competed for seven weeks to create apps that utilized the latest Ultrabook convertible hardware along with the Intel Perceptual Computing SDK and camera to build the Ultimate app prototype.And the Ultimate Coder is: Sixense Studios!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

 

Latest from Week 7

Latest from the Challengers

Sixense Studios
The Sixense team have polished up Puppet In Motion for this final week, adding hand calibration, new story scenes, and art. They also outline their goals for the future of this fun app. Read more>

 

 

Lee
Lee has managed to squeeze in a few last minute additions to his teleconferencing app, which he’s made available for download – along with the full source code. Read more>

 

 

Code-Monkeys
The team talk about their code simplification process, which actually made the game better. Head tracking, calibration, and actual user game play experience wrap up this week’s post. Read more>

 

 

Simian Squared
Rob from Simian Squared gives us a walk-through of how they dealt with the “sculpty stuff”, integrating perceptual computing elements into a very tactile process. Read more>

 

 

Quel Solaar
Eskil writes a thoughtful post on building good apps vs. building a system that produces good apps.  He outlines his development strategy that incorporates many Perceptual Computing elements. Read more>

 

 

Infrared5/Brass Monkey
Fire-breathing and other cool optimizations in this week’s iteration of Kiwi Catapult Revenge. We also get an update on what the team intends for future versions, and a playable demo. Read more>

 

 

Peter
Peter writes up an intuitive discussion on the present and future of Perceptual Computing, wrapping up the competition with the current status of Huda, his image editor app. Read more>

 

 

Latest from the Judges

Steve
Steve writes up a thoughtful post after testing all Challengers’ apps. He makes a good case for a common gesture set for perceptual computing, and brings up power consumption and user interface as factors that will impact future development. He’s keeping his cards very close as far as an Ultimate winner in this competition. Read more>

 

 

Chris
Chris echoes Judge Steve when he talks about the need for a common gesture/input scheme needed to make PerC apps really usable. He’s written up detailed thoughts about each of the apps in this competition, but no clear winner stands out as yet. Read more>

 

 

Nicole
Nicole has had a chance to test all submitted apps from our Challengers and she’s got a lot to say about each one. Which one will she pick as the winner? No way to tell, but it’s clear she got a lot of testing time in this past week. Read more>

 

 

Sascha
Sascha's thoughts are coming soon! 

 

 

Latest from Week 6

Latest from the Challengers

Sixense Studios
Sixense had an inspiring week at GDC, and were able to demo their recording feature for attendees.  Puppet and set interaction along with graphics were what Sixense worked on this week, along with core features. Read more>

 

 

Lee
Lee had a good week at GDC, testing his teleconferencing app on both attendees and fellow Ultimate Coders. VOIP, network data syncing, and voice recognition in a very crowded room were what Lee worked on, along with some gesture ambiguity and connection speeds. Read more>

 

 

Code-Monkeys
A very tongue-in-cheek update this week from the Code-Monkeys, who show us how we can control StarGate Gunship with glossal tracking. Gene Simmons would be proud. Read more>

 

 

Simian Squared
Simian Squared's update is coming soon!

 

 

Quel Solaar
Eskil gives us a step-by-step walkthrough of how his head tracking works, along with a description of the algorithm and the process he used to come up with it. Read more>

 

 

Infrared5/Brass Monkey
The team loved catching up with their fellow Ultimate Coders at GDC this past week, and were able to give and get some valuable feedback on what everyone is working on. A new environment was added as well as support for playing Kiwi Catapult Revenge….with your feet! Read more>

 

 

Peter
Peter’s got the UI for Huda pretty much set this week, and he’s added voice recognition back into his image editor app. He also gives us a master list of which gestures are supported (and what they do!), with a video demo. Read more>

 

 

Latest from the Judges

Steve
Steve and fellow UltrabookNews.com reporter Ben Lang both give their thoughts on the progress of the Challengers this week, straight from a week at GDC where they got to see demos of many of the coders’ projects. Read more>

 

 

Chris
Chris expresses some personal concerns about his new gesture camera needing to sleep in the garage. He encourages each Challenger as they’re nearing completion of their projects to keep going, and states that judging won’t be easy. Read more>

 

 

Nicole
Nicole is in full-on judge role this week as she points out both the good and the still-needs-work aspects of each Challenger’s project. Read more>

 

 

Sascha
Sascha gives props to Code-Monkeys and Brass Monkey/Infrared5 for their April Fools’ jokes this week. He enjoyed playing with everyone’s projects at GDC, but still can’t pick a definite favorite. Read more>

 

 

Latest from Week 5

Latest from the Challengers

Sixense Studios
The Sixense team show us their progress on camera transitions, puppet control, networking, and art. We also get a look at the story scenes through the perspective of the Big Bad Wolf. Read more>

 

 

Lee
Lee’s topped his personal record this week for the longest coding streak ever, and he’s a got a lot to show for it: voice control and a new background. From here on out it’s all about polish. Read more>

 

 

Code-Monkeys
We hear this week about how Code-Monkeys have been tackling this challenge as a team, including tweaking the GUI to work well with the PerC camera and developing gesture commands. Read more>

 

 

Simian Squared
Simian Squared write up their thoughts on the future of Perceptual Computing. We also get a first look at the pottery app – tentatively titled “Pot” – in action. Read more>

 

 

Quel Solaar
Eskil gives us a demo of his interface. He also writes a detailed review of the PerC camera and  head tracking in the SDK. Read more>

 

 

Infrared5/Brass Monkey
The team had some “big wins” this week with face tracking, and they post some great success with tracking the 3D position of a face. They also give us a great new demo. Read more>

 

 

Peter
Peter adds a more natural feeling interface to Huda this week, along with finishing off the photo management. He also drops the carousel and notes that Huda “feels like an Ultrabook app”. Read more>

 

 

Latest from the Judges

Steve
Steve’s recurring theme for this week: challengers, get ready for GDC! He encourages Sixense to keep going on gameplay, tells Peter to get gesture support ready for next week, asks Lee to make note of his testing thoughts, agrees with Simian Squared on perceptual computing, likes Infrared5’s playable demo, and likes Eskil’s “good, detailed feedback”. Read more>

 

 

Chris
Chris notes that AC/DC usage from Brass Monkey has upped their points for the week. He likes that Lee and Sixense  have brought their apps to the “polish stage”, notes that Code-Monkeys are rethinking their UI, tells Peter he’s on the right track, and looks forward to more demos from Eskil and Simian Squared. Read more>

 

 

Nicole
Nicole has some smart advice this week for our coders: she is pleased with Lee’s progress but is bemused by the medieval castle, loves Brass Monkey’s rear view mirror demo, is excited by Sixense’s Three Little Pigs demo, answers Peter’s file structure query in depth, and responds to Quel Solaar’s critique of the PerC camera. Read more>

 

 

Sascha
Sascha gives encouraging words to each coder as they head to GDC next week. He suggests more scenes for Sixense, agrees with Lee’s UI conception, looks forward to Brass Monkey’s “addictive” demo, can’t wait to see Peter’s Huda in action combined with new gesture control, likes Code-Monkeys’ tweaking of the input controls, enjoys Eskil’s “rant a day”, and loves the passion about perceptual computing that Simian Squared shared this week. Read more>

 

 

Latest from Week 4

Latest from the Challengers

Sixense Studios
Sixense shows off one of their Little Pigs and demos gesture recognition for hand and mouth control. Next up: multiplayer functionality and the first playable version of the “Three Little Pigs” story. Read more>

 

 

Lee
Lee demos conferencing in action in this week’s post. He also gives us a detailed description of how the perceptual 3E avatar works, along with his troubles getting the voice networking to work. Read more>

 

 

Code-Monkeys
The Code-Monkeys share a great demo of Stargate Gunship, discussing the unexpected problem of the “UZ Factor”. Read more>

 

 

Simian Squared
Simian Squared give us a first look at what the sculpting environment is going to look like, including the bowl, a wheel, and clay. We also get to see the Japanese-themed sculpting option. Demos are coming next week. Read more>

 

 

Quel Solaar
Eskil writes this week about API design when creating a UI toolkit. Next week we get to see what his user interface will actually look like. Read more>

 

 

Infrared5/Brass Monkey
Laser cats, flamethrowers, and core game mechanics are what the team at Brass Monkey/Infrared5 have been up to this week. We also get to see the “rear view mirror” effect as a feature for the main character. Read more>

 

 

Peter
Peter walks us through the debugging process for an issue he faced with the gesture code. He’s also made the difficult to decision to drop voice recognition, but the interface is coming right along. Read more>

 

 

Latest from the Judges

Steve
Chippy notes that all the teams are in completely different places in terms of priority and rate of progress. He offers savvy advice for each coder:  tells Peter to watch the barriers, enjoys Brass Monkey’s game play, is inspired by Lee’s video, wonders where the PerC input is in Eskil’s app, agrees with Code-Monkeys’ UZ factor , loves Sixense’s puppet progress, and enjoys the “quality artwork” from Simian.  Read more>

 

 

Chris
Chris reminds challengers that we’re more than halfway through – the rubber needs to meet the road. He gives Sixense props for wrestling with the depth camera, wonders why Lee didn’t test his app on a virtual assistant, likes Simian’s demo environment, chides Peter for not providing enough coding detail (but likes his playlist!), likes Eskil’s walkthrough but is not a fan of his overall approach, agrees with Code-Monkeys on the issue of UZ, and likes the audacity of Brass Monkey’s approach to obstacles. Read more> 

 

 

Nicole
Nicole offers smart advice and encouragement for our coders this week. She enjoys the “action packed” gameplay of Brass Monkey’s app, wonders if gaze tracking might work for Code-Monkey’s game, thinks that Simian Squared’s pottery artwork is “grand”, loves Sixense’s pig renderings, advises Peter on hashing and file structure, is amazed at Lee’s “next generation” program, and cautions Eskil to make it as clear as possible what his framework is capable of. Read more>

 

 

Sascha
Sascha is really excited about how far our Challengers have come in such a short time. He’s already put himself first in line to buy Lee’s teleconferencing software, asks Sixense to go even further with the cuteness factor, reminds Brass Monkey/Infrared5 of where a certain company called Rovio started, encourages Peter to keep on blogging, is giddy about Eskil’s UI project, and urges Simian Squared to go even further with the virtual pottery experience. Read more>

 

 

Latest from Week 3

Latest from the Challengers

Sixense Studios
Sixense give us a video demo on camera-controlled puppets as well as working video recording. We also get a sneak peek at concept art and the story that the puppets (and users!) will be telling. Read more>

 

 

Lee
Lee gives us a video demo of his teleconferencing software in action, live from a virtual boardroom. He’s working on gaze tracking, document interaction, and it looks like audio is next on the to-do list. Read more>

 

 

Code-Monkeys
Code-Monkeys dive deep into the Perceptual Computing SDK this week, giving us a look at their K.I.S.S approach to solving complicated code issues and a free Unity 3D control tool download. Read more>

 

 

Simian Squared
Simian Squared work on direction vectors this week, testing various scenarios on their very patient mother and making a working simulation. We’ll see new graphics next week. Read more>

 

 

Quel Solaar
Eskil gives us a look at a demo version of his new Betray platform layer, along with a sneak peek at the aesthetics of his user interface elements. Read more>

 

 

Infrared5/Brass Monkey
Laser and fireball shooting are now in place for Kiwi Catapult Revenge, along with facial depth tracking (video demo included). A quick rundown of PerC possibilities is open for discussion. Read more>

 

 

Peter
Peter adds a few filters to Huda, his photo editing app, along with histogram view animation. He’s also made Huda responsive to multiple finger positions. Read more>

 

 

Latest from the Judges

Steve
Steve notes that while cool features are great, coders can’t afford to get side-tracked by anything that will affect the core functionality of what they are working on.  He’s at CeBIT this week, and has been able to chat with a few people in the PerC space; quite relevant to what our challengers are doing right now. We also see Steve in a video with fellow judges Sascha and Nicole – watch for the blooper! Read more>

 

 

Chris
Chris continues to be impressed by the coders’ work. He likes Peter’s dedicated slog through territory others would fear to tread, asks Brass Monkey for eye tracking for his own “nefarious needs”, suspects Eskil of hiding something crazy up his sleeve, likes Code-Monkey’s simple code work, loves the Sixense puppets’ story, requests clay carnage from Simian Squared, and outright accuses Lee of being a vampire. Read more>

 

 

Nicole
Nicole gives a “tip of the hat” to Brass Monkey attempting eye tracking in the projects, as this is something that is truly cutting-edge. She asks for more details from Code-Monkeys and Sixense, loves Quel Solaar’s project, enjoys Lee’s 3D video demo, appreciates Peter’s insights, and looks forward to Simian Squared’s visualizations. Live video from CeBIT accompanies this post.  Read more>

 

 

Sascha
Sascha participates in a judges' video with Nicole and Steve live from CeBIT. You'll want to watch for what happens around the five minute mark! Read more>

 

 

Latest from Week 2

Latest from the Challengers

Sixense Studios
Sixense talks about adding realism and perceptual input to their puppets, with a bit of a side riff on the Oscars and how it fits into their platform. Read more ›

 

 

Lee
Lee gives us a “day in the life” view of how he wrangled the Perceptual Camera  into  generating a 3D construct in an initial prototype. Read more ›

 

 

Code-Monkeys
The Code-Monkeys talk about the evolution of UX, giving us their thoughts on the progress of true “Minority Report” computing. Read more ›

 

 

Simian Squared
Getting clay to function digitally in a coding environment is turning out to be an interesting challenge for Simian Squared. Read more ›

 

 

Quel Solaar
Eskil gives us a detailed summary of his work on a platform layer with a bit of a twist: input access that comes from mouse, keyboard, touch, or any other hardware. Read more ›

 

 

Infrared5/Brass Monkey
The team at Brass Monkey/Infrared5 discuss their progress with face tracking, gaze tracking, their game engine, and post a playable demo. Read more ›

 

 

Peter
Peter gives us a detailed look at what he’s been up to this past week, complete with multiple videos, a rough interface sketch, and gesture recognition code work. Read more ›

 

 

Latest from the Judges

Steve
Steve likes how each team is charging ahead and it’s only week 2. All teams are confidently moving ahead with their projects, with great feedback on hardware and progress towards various PerC goalposts. Read more>

 

 

Chris
Chris is impressed at the challengers’ continued progress, and notes that perceptual computing will mean a revamp of how we interact with our computers at the most basic of levels. Read more>

 

 

Nicole
This week, Nicole enjoyed the demo from Brass Monkey, was impressed with the Code-Monkey’s interface redesigns, liked Sixense’s work on the puppet art, was a bit puzzled by Quel Solaar’s framework,was interested in Lee’s depth sensor work, became intrigued by Simian Squared’s use of realism, and loved the level of detail Peter has been sharing. Read more>

 

 

Sascha
Sascha gives each challenger personalized encouragement this week, focusing on visual effects (Brass Monkey), core interface design (Code-Monkeys), environment (Simian Squared), proof of concept (Sixense), images (Peter), the ultimate webcam (Lee), and frameworks (Eskil). Read more>

 

 

Latest from Week 1

Latest from the Challengers

Sixense Studios
Sixense Studios introduce themselves with a brief background intro and a sneak peek at their PerC puppet project. Read more>

 

 

Lee
Lee gives us a detailed look at his background and what he intends for this new PerC project, complete with videos. Read more>

 

 

Code-Monkeys
The Code-Monkeys give us a quick intro of their team, along with a teaser for their PerC game, Stargate Gunship. Read more>

 

 

Simian Squared
Simian Squared give us a look at their immersive PerC  project, giving us a taste of how interactive computing can really be. Read more>

 

 

Quel Solaar
We’ve come a long way with the PC, but Eskil aims to show us just how much further we can go. He’s currently working on an API to simplify user input. Read more>

 

 

Infrared5/Brass Monkey
Brass Monkey introduce their team and give us a finely detailed look at the technical aspects of what their project will include. Read more>

 

 

Peter
Peter describes how he’s developing a photo-editing app that will take advantage of Perceptual Computing capabilities. Read more>

 

 

Latest from the Judges

Steve
Chippy is impressed with the size and scope of the projects introduced by our challengers. He believes each team is setting the bar pretty high, and looks forward to seeing these apps take shape. Read more>

 

 

Chris
Chris notes that in order to impress him, teams must not only create apps that show off their hardware, but also incorporate perceptual computing.  Like Chippy, he’s impressed with the sheer audacity of the coders’ projects. Read more>

 

 

Nicole
Nicole is excited about the wide variety of projects that developers are bringing to the table. She’d like to see more documentation from teams of the thought processes that go into major decisions, like which gaming platform they end up with. Read more>

 

 

Sascha
Sascha looks forward to seeing more game details from Brass Monkey, as he’s a longtime aficionado of racing games. He’s also excited about Sixense’s pottery project, Peter’s photo editing app, and Eskil’s open source development. Read more>

 

 

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