Crunch Time - Week 6 Ultimate Coder Recap!

Our Challengers came back from GDC with almost no rest to post their second to last post of the challenge.  Yep, the Ultimate Coder Challenge: Going Perceptual is about to wrap up.  Thus this week's posts show a bit of relief, some post GDC levity, and a sense of serious work to be done before the judges get a crack at trying the apps.  Here's a recap of Week 6.

Perceptual Computing Features Debut at GDC and Wow Us!
 

  • Quel Solaar - Seduce UI Framework before last week had been the only app not yet focused on Perceptual Computing, but that changed.  Eskil came to GDC with a head tracking system that delighted many of us who had the pleasure to see it first hand.  Before this Eskil was more focused on the Ultrabook features and capabilities. However the head tracking is so smooth and responsive it got many to stand up and take notice of what Eskil is doing with his work.  The head tracking allowed a user to see around the constraints of the monitor view port, looking left or right to see a wider view.  Eskil's entire approach is to reinvent the computer interface experience to take advantage of nearly any input modality, for multiple people, doing multiple tasks.  I think as we get to all in one table top PCs and share TV experiences, Eskil's software can really come into its own.  
    Sascha:  I really liked all the different aspects of your demo. 
     
  • Code Monkey's SG Gunship Game:  There were two stories at GDC for Code Monkeys.  Before GDC they had struggled with Perceptual Computing features.  Just before they made the trip they figured out how to make the experience playable and for the first time we got to see Stargate Gunship working with both hand and head tracking featured.  However with exposure to uninitiated users the head tracking was a distraction. Day 2 at GDC they pulled it out and made some adjustments to the controls.  Reactions were great.  In the end the perceptual computing features worked REALLY well making for a compelling user experience as good or not better than we are seeing from the rest of this pack.  However in their post they they showcased something brand new. The Gene Simmons tongue tracking mode (with a bit of cheek of course). Good way to start April guys :-)  
    Sascha: After playing with your game at GDC, I have to admit that I was really impressed with it 

All But Polish Now:
At GDC and in Week 6 posts we are seeing these apps almost at their final stages, with a bit of fine tuning needed
   

  • Sixense: Puppet In Motion.  This app now has multiple characters, video recording feature and the basic storyline background in place.  At GDC we say a number of people play with this app and it seems fairly intuitive for them to do the basics of moving the puppet, making them talk etc.  
    Steve: Puppet in Motion app that Sixense is working on is one of my favorite ideas 
  • Infrared5's Kiwi Revenge Game: This is another almost finished looking app, especially when Chris Allen demos it.  You can fly around and fire with use of your cell phone and with your head you can change your viewing angle.  Some minor bugs to fix and additional Perceptual mouth gestures are on the list to polish this app.  Foot tracking is mentioned in their post.. let's see if judges try this 'feature'.
    Chris: I'm a bare-feet kinda guy myself so I'm looking forward to testing next week. 
  • Lee Bamber's 3D Web Conferencing: This is just as stunning in real life as the videos Lee's shown us.  The rendering is super responsive and Lee is able to demonstrate multiple people calling into a virtual space.  For what this app is trying to do the level of accomplishment in these weeks is fairly mind blowing.  Lee kept the voice feature out of his GDC demos due to the loud show floor   
    Chris: Lee's understandably at the point of polishing, and at the point of taking stock of the reality of gestures.
  • Peter O'Hanlon - Huda Photo editor:  Peter has locked down much of the layout and UI, added mode changes for desktop vs tablet use of his app, added in gestures and resurrected voice back into his app.  He's been busy for sure, and it looks like those features are starting to create a compelling perceptual experience for his photo app.  
    Nicole: It's nice to see Huda in Action! 

Keeping It On the Down Low Till The Reveal

  • Simian Squared - I talked with Giusseppe from Simian Squared and it looks like they are still not ready to show their app.  However Giuseppe says NOT to count him out. They are pushing hard toward the finish line. 

Monday, April 8, we get the last posts from developers.  On Friday April 12th they submit their work to the judges and we'll see in the end the real experience with the apps is what matters.  Another great week.  Thanks to all at GDC for making it an amazing week. :-)

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