Sensors, Touchscreen, motion it's something that I need in my life 5 years ago! I got my first touch screen Netbook back in 2009, I have such fond memories of the Gigabyte T1028, even back when touch optimised apps were as rare a Vegetarian in Alberta. Even with the tiny buttons on Windows I still noticed a difference in my work flow. The touchscreen was never meant to replace the touchpad (though Gigabyte definitely tried) so I'm keenly aware of the great leaps that Microsoft has made with #Windows8 and #Intel with their guidelines on hardware. So when Intel approached Sascha and I to be a judge in the Ultimate Coder Challenge II: Going Perceptual, I thought that it was about time that I got to tell developers what I thought (and yes...I definitely need this excuse to tell developers what I think ;)

So what exactly is this competition that +Sascha Pallenberg and are sitting in judgement of 7 teams and individual coders? You can head to Intel's about the Ultimate Coder Challenge II: Going Perceptual. to learn about the dirty details.  Basically what is going on is they've all been given Yoga 13's, a Creative Interactive Gesture Camera Developer Kit  , a link to download the Intel Perceptual Computing SDK 2013 Beta  and a directive to amaze. Every week for the next 7 weeks we are going to follow along the coding extravaganza that these blistered fingered fellows are going to pump out. We're also going to try our best to give them feedback they can use to make apps that people will actually be excited about.

So far we're off to a pretty good start with the projects of the 7 teams, we don't hate any of them, and there is even one that I think it's a little sexy (the 13 year of girl in me just can't help my self!)

When the teams posted their posts on Monday Sascha and I sat down and mulled over each proposal, we may have even had a drink or two to get a little catty. Our conclusion was that Intel did a darn good job of bringing together a really varied and interesting group of developers. The projects are all pretty different, from highly specialised industry applications to titillating entertainment.

Before we get into the specifics of each team and their projects, I think I do need to disclose that my New Years resolution is to inspire more weeping. Incidentally, Sascha's resolution is to channel more Ron Burgundy in his reporting style. Curious? Yeah, me too.

I'm going to give you the readers digest, high level overview of each team and then get into the fun stuff of sitting in judgement.

Infrared5/Brass Monkey

These guys are developing a driving or racing game where the perspective of the screen changes when you move your head.

Sascha can hardly hold back his excitement over this one as Trackmania was a huge addiction of his and to this day racing games are something that he can't stop downloading. He's looking for something that takes that moment alone in a dark room, late a night, live chatting with your racing team to the next level. Driving can be intense and every detail that can draw you into the experience further is something that any addict will line up to get. Smooth graphics and detailed surroundings are going really make this happen.

I have some friends who could benefit from being better drivers and see a more practical application for this endeavour. Multiple use cases is a definite plus but in every case I can image, it's going to come down to how much can you suck the person into the experience. The proposed idea of dodging projectiles flying at your head is definitely one way to go about it.

Code Monkey's

This group of code hounds will be writing multi-touch plugins as well as full perceptual plugins for Unity 4 and Windows 8.

It's a brilliant idea to create an application that enables developers on Unity and your average Joe with Windows 8.

They're not giving up too many more details than that, so we'll have to wait and see what zany and wacky things these 'good' fellas come up with.

Simian Squared

We've got an individual developer here who is looking to use their hands to sculpt digital clay into pottery.

I can't stop thinking about that scene in know the one.

Through his laughter the only thing Sascha could add was “Keep it Classy San Diego”

Sixense Studio

Puppet Theater is a freeform and creative experience that allows users to intuitively interact with virtual puppets using motion input.

What is particularly interesting about this article is this group of coding performers is that they're currently evaluating which gaming platform to use. This thought process properly documented and debated will be invaluable to so many. We would have liked to have seem a little more on the strengths and weakness and why ultimately the decision was made to go with Unity. Decisions like these are something that other can learn from. Across the board it's something that we would like to see from everyone.

Fun fact... Calgary, Alberta is well known for it's strong Puppetry community. As an aside I realise I've referenced Alberta twice in this article, I'm actually from Toronto, just lived in Calgary before moving to Taiwan.

Sascha has no strong feeling towards Puppets, Puppetry or stilt walking.

Peter O'Hanlon

What we have here is a very big statement: Huda is a photo editing application, which works differently to just about any photo editing package you’ve ever used before.

Bring it on Peter! Sascha is still using PhotoImpact (Circa one of the first photo editing programs out there) I'm begrudgingly using Photoshop whose UI is actually Nvidia accelerated which my Ultrabook doesn't have.

We sit waiting to be converted. No pressure.


We love seeing an application that is targeted at business, it raises the entire competition to a whole new level. Lee is working on a new breed of Webcam software which solves the problem of bandwidth lag while teleconferencing with multiple users over the internet.

It's a compelling proposition! You've bitten off a very big challenge, apart from technical challenges of creating a stable connection, you're also looking to basically reinventing the webcam!!

Cyberlink has been trying to do this for years, I would take a closer look at what they're been doing since they're actually preloaded on a very large segment of Intel PCs. It's mostly kiddy stuff but off an on they try something a little out of the box, I'd try to take some learning from their successes failures.

We're also interested later down the road to see how the move from desktop development to Ultrabook goes.

Since my New Years resolution is to inspire weeping we should get along just fine! High Five for the Video Blogging...and where is our £200?


We have here a developer whose fingers are destined to change the way we interact with PCs, love the ambition! Fundamentally this project interesting for a number of reasons, it's open source *swoon... (that's Sascha by the way) and it's multiscreen!? XD

Strategy Games and Tower defence are a regular feature around our office (along side Themepark) so this type of game already has an affirmative head nod.

Sascha is more forgiving as 'Dark Side of the Moon' is an indie game, but I'm wondering about the game graphics. 

We'll be back every week with feedback as well some thought's on sensor computing in general.  Looking forward to seeing what you all do next!

Nicole & Sascha

Here are a few links if you're keen!
Creative Interactive Gesture Camera Developer Kit  Intel Perceptual Computing SDK 2013 Beta
Ultimate Coder Challenge II: Going Perceptual
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