Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Using Gestures with Business Analyzer for Dynamics GP

When Kinect for XBOX came out last year, I immediately fell in love with it. Wii was good, but Kinect was a whole different ball game. All my friends wanted to have a go at each other in Boxing, Bowling and everything else.

Around the same time, I had acute back pain, which made me take a break from work. My awesome friends encouraged me to setup a small gaming zone (something I had always dreamed of). We all pooled in and put together some Foosball Tables, Gaming Systems, Racing Wheels – and well – that business is still going on.

We also put together a couple of Kinect Systems, so people could try them out, and buy them as well. At our Gaming Zone – I saw people fall in love with Kinect – fathers playing with their sons, families getting together. It was awesome!

I was dying to program with Kinect. I didn’t want to move away from GP either, but I didn’t see the two fitting together. Making a journal entry with Kinect seemed like a very bad idea. Then, earlier this year, I saw Business Analyzer (Available with Dynamics GP 2010 R2), and how it let you add beautiful KPIs, Charts and Graphs to your personal dashboard. What if we let people navigate Business Analyzer with their gestures. That seemed like a good fit – and could be used in meetings!

Microsoft has done a great job with the Kinect SDK and the Kinect ToolBox. Using the two I was able to track 4 gestures, and then send commands to Business Analyzer to navigate through the reports.

Check out the Video (only a couple of minutes long)

The video is available at http://youtu.be/ugJsdg4WWS8?hd=1


I captured the following Gestures -

  1. Swipe to Right – Moves to next Graph in Business Analyzer
  2. Swipe to Left – Move back to previous Graph
  3. Expand Gesture – Zooms into a graph
  4. Contract Gesture – Zoom out

I lost a bit of weight while coding for this!

Initially while working on this I was constantly getting up from my chair to test out the gestures. Later on I figured out how you can record your gestures/sequence of gestures to avoid getting up or getting hold of somebody while you are are debugging. Kinect toolbox has a set of replay classes.

The Future

Kinect is extremely responsive, and only $150, and can be attached to any PC. As the technology matures, and maybe in the future Notebooks come with a Kinect like camera array, I don’t see any reason why you would be using a Presentation Pointer or Remote and not use your hand and natural gestures.


Kinect SDK is available at http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/

Kinect Toolbox is available at http://kinecttoolbox.codeplex.com/

My Favorite Kinect Games

There are about 20+ games available, but the rest were pretty average. I am looking forward to the new games coming out this holiday season.


M Shasur said...

Good one. The gestures covered are often used one. Someone like Geetesh could give you the top 10 most-used commands in the presentation and hope Kinect will have equivalent

Bikramjit Singh said...

Why don't you go for a patent? It will be counted as an asset to your company !

Harpreet Singh said...

Kinect SDK doesn't have inbuilt gesture recognition API's. So, you coded four of these as you mentioned.

Can you provide some cues about this? Did you some other open source library, or if not, how did you bring skeletal tracking to use for the getures?