Wednesday 21 November 2012

How does Movi Kanti Revo work?

movi kanti revo vs kinect
Technology behind Movi Kanti Revo

If you haven't yet heard of it Movi Kanti Revo is a Chrome experiment from Google that is trying to change the way we interact with our smartphones. Initially Smartphones will reap the benefits of Movi with it's ability to use multiple gestures, the accelerometer, the front camera and the touch screen to control the phone. Showcased as an interactive non video embedded experiment with Cirque Du Soleil providing the material, many software designers are of course excited to find out how this new uber-Kinect type of software works.

What does Movi Kanti Revo mean?
The name comes from the Esperanto terms for moving, singing, and dreaming.

The technology behind Movi Kanti Revo

The technology is  client-side with no part of it running on a server. Site developers used HTML to get the elements on-stage, and then created complex, nuanced transitions and transforms via new CSS3 animation properties. The team used Javascript to do facial detection for motion through the experience and changing the “camera” orientation live according to a user’s gestures, and delivered high-quality video, much of it drawn by hand, in Google’s own WebM format for Chrome users on a desktop machine, but substituting H.264 for mobile users.

Is the technology just for mobile games?
 “And not just for casual games but for the big games too. Imagine playing Halo and having the webcam going automatically to chat with your friends.” says a Google spokesman.
On mobile, there’s more sensor availability: orientation, movement, and, in newer phones, a front-facing camera. That promises to give developers abilities in the future that can only be imagined on an Xbox 360 Kinect-like environment today.

What hardware is needed to run it?
 A good GPU seems essential, as everything on the site is hardware accelerated. But they had tested on Nexus 7 tablets and Chromebooks with a fair performance.
With improved hardware in the future the performance can only improve.

How does it change Smartphone interaction?
You can interact with the site by moving your body or speaking to your computer
But unlike Microsoft's Kinect softwareMovi.Kanti.Revo is fully built in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript -- the same tools that power many modern Web sites and a growing number of mobile apps.

The world of the Movi Kanti Revo demo
 You're invited into a magical world by a tour guide who speaks in a made-up language, who invites you through a series of tableaus such as a forest, a desert, and a tree of life. You have a certain control over each of those environments. It's a message of joy and hope and play and the beauty of life, it takes about 10 minutes to explore.
Pete LePage, a developer advocate for Google's Chrome team, explained that the project came from Google's ongoing interest in creating Chrome Experiments to showcase what Chrome and the modern Web are capable of.  Google wanted to make sure that this one works across all browsers.

The technology needed to make this work across all browsers
For CSS transforms they coded for all the available browsers. Movi.Kanti.Revo code does have browser-specific flags for CSS transforms, but that was just to ensure that browsers that haven't yet built full support for the technology can support it as it comes online.
Movi.Kanti.Revo will work on most tablets and some smartphones too because it supports deviceOrientation and deviceMotion, so your device's accelerometer will respond to motion instead of your body.
Why Cirque collaborated with Google
Cirque's interest in making a Web-based version of their shows dovetailed with Google's interest in showing off modern Web standards, with Chrome as the platform. "Cirque wanted to start building a show that lived beyond their normal performances, and Google wanted to use stuff that's just coming online, such as HTML5 and CSS3."

Chrome experiments spokesman LePage speaks out

Specifically, he said, "we talked about the getUserMedia API to get access to the users' Webcam and microphone."

CSS3 3D Transforms leverage your device's graphics card to render complicated graphics smoothly.
The new HTML5 API getUserMedia, LePage explained, becomes far more useful with WebRTC, a new open-source JavaScript API that allows for real-time communications (RTC) through the Web browser when you give it permission to do so. It allows for the browser to control your computer's Webcam and microphone, and it contains a "communication protocol" that allows media to be sent from and received by your computer.
WebRTC has a lot of modern media tools built-in, like support for high-quality audio and video, lost strain compensation, and jitter correction. LePage said that it's already in the Firefox nightly builds, and he said that Opera has plans to support it, too.
However, like much of the modern Web, the standard is still developing. "Just landed in Chrome Canary yesterday was response to voice control," he noted.
Beyond the technical challenges of building a robust, interactive site with technology that is still under development, what Particle and Google created, as well as filming some of the acts with the camera moving, is that it replaces the old 3D. It works, and it feels alive."

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