Winscape is “virtual window” software by RationalCraft.com that uses Kinect and 4K displays to create incredibly lifelike views on video screens simulating windows. Windscape uses Kinect to track the viewer nearest the device to give them the experience of looking at a scene outside of a window with a realistic view that adjusts to the viewer’s angle and distance from the display.
The scenes are 4K videos (4096×2048) shot with a RED One camera, of various environments including famous cities, beaches, snowy mountains and even looking out of the front of a moving train and under the sea!
The video can be displayed on regular HDTVs but the full effect requires higher resolution 4K displays embedded into walls to give the appearance of real windows. Also, despite using Kinect the software is currently only available for Macs.
Winscape can also be used for interactive marketing.
Winscape features include:
- Custom Winscape software with configurable screen parameters
- Two HD plasma displays for great contrast and wide viewing angles
- Video playback resolution capable of 4k with sound
- Fully embedded in the wall for aesthetics and silent operation
- Tracking of one person in the room via Kinect TM sensor for proper perspective presentation
- Scheduled on/off
- iPhone/iPod/iPad and web control of sleep/wake/scene selection
You can do this on your existing HD TV!
If you have a Mac attached to your HD TV, you can easily run the Winscape software with one or more of our scenery movies. The Winscape software is free to try and it works on any movie in your Movies folder. If you want to do your own custom install, keep reading for tips and information.
Can I use Winscape software to market my product to people walking past a display?
Yes we have built the Winscape Marketeer applicationspecifically for marketing to passers by. We use a more aggressive Kinect driver to lock on to users sooner so that the change in window perspective will catch their eye and begin a short interactive session with the viewer.
What does the software look like? What does it do? Can I get a copy of it?
Yes both software applications are available. For more details about the Winscape program click here. Details for the Winscape Marketeer software are here. Both applications can use the Winscape Remote iOS app available here.
What is behind the curtain?
Two 46-inch Panasonic TC-P46G10 plasma screens bring the images to life. They are fed by an Apple Mac Pro workstation in the adjacent room running custom OS X software called Winscape. Using the displays’ physical layout parameters, the Winscape software renders the proper portions of the video to fill the appropriate displays using Quicktime and OpenGL. A Kinect Sensor reports the position of the people in the room. The Winscape software uses this tracker information (when available) to shift the view for the person closest to the Winscape. Sleep, Wake, and Scene Selection can be controlled by a web page served by the software or by the Winscape Remote iOS App.
You’re tracking who in the what now?
Real windows are interactive – unlike a painting on the wall. When you move your head in relation to a window, the view outside shifts up/down/left/right. If you want to see something in the window’s right periphery, you can move your head left to bring it into view.
We can simulate that effect if we know the location of the viewer’s head in relation to the Winscape displays. The effect will only look correct to the one person in the room wearing the tracking device, so it’s presented more as a fun party gimmick than as a feature for full-time use.
How did you build it?
For a more detailed look into how the Winscape was built, please click here.
I want to do this too. Any tips for collecting footage?
Can I ask a question?
Can you email me announcements regarding the Winscape?
Sure thing. Just join the announcements email list
Thanks to my wonderful wife Beth for the huge amount of support. Also thanks to George, Doug, Herb, Tobin, Troy, Tony, Adam, Mary, both Daves, Brian and Paul.
Kinect is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Winscape is available now for the Mac and is trialware that is free for 30 runs after which you have to buy a license for $35.95 to keep on using it. I don’t know how many/if you get any scenes included with the software but additional scenes can be bought separately, or you can make your own.