This project visualizes head movement with the help of a Kinect and is also used as an aid in the research project “Durch den Wind”. The research project deals with the question:

“Is it possible to distract the user's attention in a desktop workspace by exposing him to a hidden air flow?”

For this purpose selected subjects undergo an attention test. In a desktop workspace two manipulated speakers are placed, each with two servo motors and one 12V DC fan. With a Kinect placed in the center each head movement of the subject can be recorded and tracked. The servomotors are adjusted in real time to suit the subjects head position. The fans are regulated in their intensity in a defined interval aligned to the head of the subject to cause an impairment of the attention. An impairment of the attention could be seen for example by unconscious and irregular head movements. In order to analyze and record these head movements I developed Visualizer.

intro of visualizer

How it works

To generate movement data I used a Kinect for Windows. With Processing and the help of the SimpleOpenNI library I quickly got tracked a basic human skeleton. For my purpose I only need the head and it’s tracked area. The 500 × 500 pixels large sketch contains an area-grid with a center point in the middle. The generated data from the x-,y- and z-coordinates of the head are transferred in real time, due to this benefit Visualizer is able to render any head movement instantly. Visualizer can run in up to four different states. The sphere in his resting mode is representative of the subjects head and means no movement. The further the head moves away from the center of the tracking area, the more movement takes place. This movement is then translated into deformation of the sphere. Afterwards this movement will be categorized and divided into three stages like minor, moderate and large movement.

work in progress visualizer

The system offers the possibility to store the achieved head movement score in a timeline after the end of each session. The results can be called up at any time with the respective date and the score achieved.

web interface of visualizer




Node.js,, Three.js, Kinect, Processing


Development, Concept