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Full Body Dance Dance Revolution 125

tasty_beanburger writes "NewScientistTech has a story about a full body version of Dance Dance Revolution. It uses vision recognition to award points after assessing a player's ability to correctly mimic silhouetted dance shapes. Check out the video clip of it being demoed at SIGGRAPH 2006."
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Full Body Dance Dance Revolution

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  • by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:38PM (#15832881)
    The researchers believe the system could have more practical applications in the future. They say it could be used to automatically translate sign language, for example

    Yes, if this technology exists, and slips out into mainstream, they better put it into more practical uses than DDD.
    • Hey now, DDD has some practical use. A video game that actually involves burning calories is probably just what the US needs, and more of it. Though your original point is well taken.

      • Seriously, you think fat kids don't exercise because video games don't burn calories? If they didn't have video games they'd be playing board games, or reading, or eating, or sitting, or sleeping, or getting high, or making videos of themselves like they were in star wars, or watching star wars, or shooting people from highway overpasses, or drinking, or watching anime, or....

        The point is, fat kids aren't fat because video games don't meet their daily allotment of exercise. Personal responsability and la

        • Oh god not again. Any time I hear the phrase "personal reponsibility" I want to punch people in the mouth. The fact is that people are lazy. This is not their fault. They were born that way. If they can find an easy way out, they'll take it. The key isn't to attempt force them to do something by taking away any systems that actively coerce them to do that thing. The key is to just let them live their lives with minimal effort at a guaranteed base quality of life. In other words, they shouldn't get r
          • The fact is that people are lazy. This is not their fault.

            I'm just curious. What color is the sky in your world?

          • Would you also face the assault charge that comes with punching me (or anyone) in the mouth?, or would you blame some disorder, extenuating circumstances, or maybe temporary mental deficiency

            Believe me I see better then most, my faith is strong and I do appreciate my role in the grander scheme of things. I'm kind and charitable to those in need, I'm active in my community with local outreach programs. I see people who have nothing busting their asses to make something of their lives. But since when did b

            • I'd help you if you needed it. Doesn't sound like you do though. You've got it all figured out, don't you? I tend to favor the underdogs anyway. The people who have less because they were dealt a bad hand in life. Those are the people most deserving. Believe me, I worked hard to get where I am but not as hard as my parents did. And that's because they were generous enough to make sacrifices for me. I'm now doing the same for my child. But I don't think that people who are naturally born with very l
              • I've got a friend in just that boat. He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and it's resulted in his being an alcoholic with no chance of recovery.

                You are aware that fetal alcohol syndrome is a suite of birth defects, right? Alcoholism isn't a birth defect, it's a medical condition caused by the frequent and excessive consumption of alcohol. Consumption. Which means some complete asshole gave this friend of yours a bottle of booze. It's not like he came out of his mother's womb with one hand clutching a

              • I ring my hands of you and your miopic state where my posting on "Full Body Dance Dance Revolution" somehow being helpful to fat American kids is an indictment of my lack of social responsability.

                Where in the country are you? If you're in my neck of the woods I'll demostrate by taking you to the mission I volunteer at and then the rich suburbs where the kids are too lazy and spoiled to peddle their own bikes - damn motorized scooters!

              • But, I do think that people who believ in the concept of personal responsiblity deserve to get punched in the mouth repeatedly until they get some sense of compassion.

                In related news, I'm a million times humbler than thou.

                I know you're busy wallowing in righteous self-pity, but if you ever have time, you should read Nietzsche's critique of Christianity. I don't agree with all the points that he makes, but there's something to it. He raged against what he saw as the glorification of sickness over health,
          • Where do I start? People are born lazy? Wow...

            First, please show me the research that indicates that this is the case. I'd love to see it. I don't believe it exists, but I would love to see it. Frankly, it flies in the face of I think is the generally accepted position which is that although there is a genetic tendency for obesity (which also influences metabolism), the behavior trait (and that is what it is, although personality trait might be equally true) of laziness is a heavy mix of both environme
            • The above post is an excellent one, and should be modded to +5 ASAP. DarkSarin, do you have any more books to recommend on behavior?

              • I would mod it +5 right away but I don't really feel like it. Not right now anyway
              • Those are two classic works. Vroom has another book, but it is more of a jobplace-oriented work.

                Keep in mind if you read Vroom's 1964 book: it is dated in certain ways, and the times come out rather strong when you are reading his comments about work-roles for men and women. I suspect his ideas have changed considerably since that time.

                Unfortunately there isn't a really good comprehensive text on motivation. Knowing your authors helps a lot though. I'll post a list of good works on motivation and behavi
      • DDR (Score:3, Insightful)

        A video game that actually involves burning calories is probably just what the US needs, and more of it.

        Not just the US, either: there are plenty of places with obesity issues. But for a good aerobic workout, you don't need DDD: DDR and its ilk will do nicely. Heck, I've lost about 10kg by exercising with StepMania in recent months, and most of the time I don't even use the dance-pad, let alone some fancy-schmancy video-based detector.

        • Heck, I've lost about 10kg by exercising with StepMania in recent months, and most of the time I don't even use the dance-pad

          How do you excercise with StepMania if you don't do it on the pad?

          Jump around while whacking the cursor keys?

          • Re:DDR (Score:3, Interesting)

            The game has an "autoplay" mode (press F8 during game-play, if memory serves, or select it in the main options menu). In this mode, the game does not keep score, but merely regards each step as perfectly accurate. I just jump around on the floor in front of it (and wear holes in the carpet -- good thing it was already torn by my old cheap office chair).

            My computer is usually set up this way for exercise, because all I want to do is get my heart-rate up to a certain level, not keep score. In any case, faili

            • Ah, gotcha.

              I've recently gotten into DDR at home (offical and StepManiaX) thanks to my lovely modded Xbox and can't see myself ever miming (or whatever you'd call it with your feet!) along without getting the mat out.

              I guess I'm just in the honeymoon stage - I'm going for the passes and generally getting shit hot for when I next go to the arcades and get laughed at my teenage girls.

              Incidentally have you seen this [] collection of songs? I can't see myself ever getting

              • Re:DDR (Score:2, Interesting)

                I've been through the honeymoon stage, and then reached the level of skill where a soft mat no longer responded quickly enough to my feet. Then, like an apprentice Jedi building his own lightsaber (pretentious, much?) I built my own hard dance platform. After much abuse, I eventually broke it. Likewise the MKII platform.

                During one of these "no working platform" moments, I decided to try it sans platform entirely. I found it was actually better to work without the platform when exercising: when you're exerc

        • How do you excerise with StepMania if you don't use a dance pad? Do you just play with a control and dance along with it or something?
      • I completely disagree. There would be nothing worse than smart kids that are buff like jocks. Well, at least for my ego.
      • Looking at the people who play DDD, I don't think it burns an awful lot of calories. If you want to burn calories you need short, intense exercise, not hours of low-intensity.
        • Low intensity...

          You are not looking at expert level players. You are looking at players on light mode.

          I get completely wiped out in less than 20 minutes on my typical 7-8 foot difficulty songs.

          Anything above 6 feet even on normal mode will make you reconsider the "low intensity" comment. 5 feet you can still do standing still without much effort. At 6 feet and with jumps and multi-cross sequences of "little" steps, you are done for the day in 20 minutes.
      • DDR has always had a practical use. Over here in the UK they're collecting donations to install one as Margaret Thatcher's headstone when she eventually falls off the perch, for example.
    • DDR isn't quite that frivolous. Kids love it and it gets them exercising, which is no easy feat these days. This could add upper-body moves which would make it a better workout. I could also imagine something like this being used for physical rehabilitation after an injury.

      Translating sign language would be cool too.
    • You make it sound so easy. There is a huge difficulty gap between sign language and DDR. There is a difference between matching silouettes and parsing actions.
      • OK, not sign language - but how about semaphore communication?

        I suspect it will just be some horrible bastardisation of saturday night fever rather than anything practically useful. But why should entertainment be practically useful? It's exercise, it probably hones reactions and coordination, and it can also be competitive to whatever level people want to take it, which seems to increase how much it will hook young'uns (males, usually). Better than the (indoor) equivalents from my youth, certainly.

    • I think DDR will be more productive in th course of humanity than the invention and use of DD.
      Just think, in the future, two DDR pads will be set up facing each other, and you'll have to mimic what the person of the opposite gender dancing in front of you, is doing. It could lead to a revolution in geek reproductivity.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... if there's a stage in which you must mimic the dance moves of Stephen Colbert.
  • Oh Great!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Great Pretender ( 975978 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:40PM (#15832897)
    So now the whole world can see how this white man can't boogie.

    Perhaps this can help my sex life? I'll just slip in a porn DVD grab the wife and then get points for following the action on screen.

  • by fragmentate ( 908035 ) * <> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:40PM (#15832902) Journal

    Well. With DDR my family looked like a bunch of kids with Tourette's Syndrome []. Now they'll appear violently epileptic.

    I can only hope they're unaware when this is released.

    The technical angle on this software is what redeemed CmdrTaco from the "oh-this-will-only-make-me-look-more-dumb dept." Pretty interesting stuff, especially since it seems this stuff matures more rapidly once it goes into a game. (i.e. Flight Sims).

  • by strags ( 209606 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:41PM (#15832911)
    Sounds a lot like "Supermodel Shootout" from Indie Game Jam 2. Exactly like it, in fact. [] seems to be down at the moment, but there's an article at s&article_no=1745&page=3 [].
  • by aapold ( 753705 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:43PM (#15832924) Homepage Journal
    will the system need to use DDR memory?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wait, a dance game where you have to actually dance? How revolutionary!

    I'm currently pouting at the lack of specs. Is this going to be on my PS2 (*sigh*, PS3) or do I have to shell out for a new standalone application? Granted I didn't download the video...

    Seems like a lot of work for something that isn't that novel. I sense that a DDR with additional EyeToy functionality would be just as good, and I already *have* most everything for that.
    • by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) * on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:55PM (#15833017) Homepage Journal
      Seems like a lot of work for something that isn't that novel. I sense that a DDR with additional EyeToy functionality would be just as good, and I already *have* most everything for that.

      Indeed. Both DDR Extreme [] (and its sequel, DDR Extreme 2) have EyeToy support and include a "Hands and Feet" mode. You're supposed to supplement the foot movement with left and right hand movement. It doesn't give the whole-body positioning that the article discusses, which is a *good* thing.

      Konami's simplified method of adding upper-body "dancing" gives you more flexibility to come up with a "routine" of your own. The article's suggestion of a system that requires you to put your body in a precise position is pretty goofy by comparison. It would be like a version of DDR that requires you to use a particular foot to hit a pad -- sacrificing gameplay flexibility for an "enhanced workout".

      Plus, the manual for DDR Extreme 2 (which I just bought for my teenage daughters and my long-past-teenage self) suggests only that the background be contrasting, without a lot of motion. No requirement that it be white and illuminated. I guess Konami figured out how to do motion detection in the real world after all.

      You know, there's a good argument here that university research types ought to spend more time in the freshman dorms before they announce their "new" discoveries, especially if they're based on a popular video game.
      • Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these? It could be used as a Polka trainer!
      • Exactly. What's more, is not only are there real-world versions of this now (I also own both DDR Extreme and Extreme 2), but with the forthcoming xbox 360 stereo eye-toy that can see in 3d space, the possibility for far more interesting gameplay modes is near at hand. Add in whatever funky eyetoy sequel Sony is going to have (supposed to be hi-definition, rumored to be able to see in 3d space with just one camera somehow), and the Nintendo Wii is going to be in third place for unique and/or realistic cont
        • The thing is Nintendo is going be making the Wiimote pretty much the standard method of controls for the majority of the games. Ensuring that it'll be used and that everyone who buys a Wii will have one.

          You can't guarantee that with the Eyetoy unless Sony decides to pack it in (glad to see you commented on that). If it's like the first Eyetoy you get it when buying games. Game developers do not make games for consoles based on hardware you might have. Some companies will make games for existing niches (D
      • I don't know any single serious DDR player who thought the hand motion was a good idea. But at the same time those serious DDR players don't tend to buy american releases as their music tends to be lacking. But few think hand motions are needed. Sure if you can't do anything over a 5 then yeah handmotions are possible, but once you're playing 7s and 8s, it's extra and just gimmicky at best.

        And Extreme 2.... well I won't get into it but basically it's all the songs that should have been in Extreme in the
  • No fat kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sensei85 ( 989372 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:44PM (#15832936)
    Does this mean that the fat kid who lives at the arcade and plays 3+ hours of DDR every day yet never loses weight isn't going to be able to play DDD, because his silhouette can't possibly match up with the figures on the screen? I think that's unfair. Give sweaty headband kid a chance!
    • I am buying stock in sports drinks and snack paks. The fat kids are going to have to replenish sometime.
    • by mopslik ( 688435 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @01:05PM (#15833122)
      It doesn't matter which way you turn -- a sphere's a sphere.
    • 3 hours of DDR every day and you think he's going to be fat? Sorry man, unless he uses the other 21 hours of the day to eat chili cheese burgers surfing /., he's going to be just fine.
      • It really depends on what level he's playing at. If he's playing the wimpy beginner stuff (step... step... step... step...) then he's probably not burning any calories. He'd be better off walking. But if he's playing the insane difficulty levels (you know, the ones where it's physically impossible to stand upright unless you're holding on to something) then he'll be doing good.
        • know, the ones where it's physically impossible to stand upright unless you're holding on to something
          The very best players can do all the songs (maybe not to AAA) without bar humping. You'll find it's a very popular flamefest on DDR sites where both sides of the issue are argued fiercely. =) Personally I prefer the challenge of no bar, but to each their own.
      • Sorry man, unless he uses the other 21 hours of the day to eat chili cheese burgers surfing /.,...
        Replace /. with Myspace and that pretty much sums up the average kid's day.
      • It doesn't matter how long you do it, the lack of resistance and the way you're just moving up and down without having to propel yourself anywhere means the exercise benefits of this game are minimal.
  • ParaParaParadise (Score:4, Informative)

    by DyslexicLegume ( 875291 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @12:44PM (#15832938)
    I think Konami's already made a lot of these sorts of games before. The one that springs to mind is ParaParaParadise. []
  • I like this idea. But I'm wondering how it will sell? It looks like you need a flat screen behind you and a camera in front of you to make the game work! In fact, with nearly 2/3 of the nation considered "obese," who's actually going to use this?

    This seems too niche to have a chance here. Hopefully they can make money elsewhere in the world.
    • People spend millions of dollars a year on gym memberships that they never use. If they market this as a fun way to burn calories, they will sell plenty of copies to older people. And, with any luck, if it really is fun, people might actually use it more often than they go to the gym.

      The trick, of course, is to market it in such a way as to highlight its possible fitness applications without turning off the younger audience.
    • with nearly 2/3 of the nation considered "obese," who's actually going to use this?

      You know, I think that's exactly the same thing they said about DDR.

      • Because what is DDR? I've never heard of it...

      • with nearly 2/3 of the nation considered "obese," who's actually going to use this?
        You know, I think that's exactly the same thing they said about DDR.

        I think this is kinda where Wii is heading. I'd call it the stealth excerise game. Think about "forcing" your gamers to physically move around alot or from various positions/wide body movements. You could "trick" your gamers into doing alot more body movements rather than them just sitting there. How long until some one combines a DDR pad and the Wii controll
    • According to the American Obesity Association [], 2/3 of the nation is overweight, not obese, and is wildly different than 2/3 being obese. Only about 30% of the nation is obese (which is still horrible, granted, but much better than 2/3).
      • Oops, fair enough. Wrong word usage. Apologies to the 1/3 of the U.S. who is overweight (which includes me), and not obese. 2/3 is overweight and 1/2 of that is obese. That still only leaves about 1/3 of the nation who could sustain a game. I just hope it hits the local arcade so I can look like a moron and have fun doing it, 'cause I cannot afford to buy everything needed to play it at home.
        • A decent DDR setup at home is not easy.

          The cheap mats get destroyed rather quickly. The arcade platform feels very different. So if you start adding your investment, you'll find that a full-scale solution can easily put you over $200 without the console. Figure about $50 for the game, and about $100 for a decent pad/platform. But you may want two pads, hence over $200.

          Playing at arcade is more enjoyable and easier.

          Add to that the fact that you'll need quite a bit of space to jump around.
  • Until I read the article, I thought it was going to be Dance Dance Devolution.

    Either way, it's safe to say:
    we're through being cool.

  • by Caspian ( 99221 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @01:03PM (#15833098)
    I hope they're prepared for a legal onslaught from Apple [].
  • The best part about going to the new "real life DDR" (a dance club) is that if you can get the moves down, the "score" part is way better than in the game!
    • The best part about going to the new "real life DDR" (a dance club) is that if you can get the moves down, the "score" part is way better than in the game!

      very true, learn to dance and the girls go nuts. you could probably just memorize DDR steps and do them at a club and still pick up 3 or 4. I don't know what it is with girls and dancing but they love it.
  • Talk about Old News (Score:3, Informative)

    by Neo_piper ( 798916 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @01:19PM (#15833215)
    Dude It's called ParaParaParadise and it's been out since 2000.
  • The video hasn't suffered from the /. effect. I suspect this has to do with their codec choice. And with the OS choice of many /.ers.
  • []

    I only viewed the first one (100) but the chick wasn't very good at playing the game. Every time she "touched" the blocks it said least she looked good doing it...ok it didn't look good at all...
  • I'm intrigued reading this article. At, Nintendo, our r & D are working also working on something simliar to this. taking the integration of physical activity with video games to a whole new level... we're researching motion tracking in 3-D using purely computer vision techniques, and using no sensors worn on the body, like traditional mocap techniques require.

    One difference is that we track the motion in 3-D space, using spatial extraction coupled with a stochastic Kalman-filter technique, rather than
    • Combine this with some sort of sliding-foot-interface and it could make for an interesting FPS. I don't know how you could allow the simulation of running/walking without something that was inherently unstable, but - hey - that's why I don't design that stuff.

      So, I'm curious: Are we really to believe the head of new technology at Nintendo trolls /. and posts on occasion? Or are you just pulling our collective legs, trying to angle for a few more informative mods? ;-)
    • At first I thought there's no way you can get 3D motion from a single video frame (not a completely off-the-cuff comment, I know a thing or two about computer vision). Then the geometer in me said "but the dimensionality of the configuration space is limited by limb rigidity." Not every point on the body can be in any point in 3D space; e.g. the hand has to be ~12" from the elbow. If you can track the shoulder, elbow, and hand, you can estimate how long they are and deduce (up to some reflections) where
  • Now everyone can dance like the older tester to Dance Dance Revolution in full body mode for a perfect score! Coming to a gym near you!
  • Strike a pose! (Score:4, Informative)

    by IntelliTubbie ( 29947 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @01:43PM (#15833398)
    As a DDR fan reporting from SIGGRAPH, I'm disappointed to say that the gameplay is more like striking a series of "poses" than actual dancing. "Okay, now put your arms straight up. Now put them in a V. Now lean over sideways. It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A! ..."

    • Young man...

      There's no need to feel down!
    • When I was near their exhibit, they asked a lady to take off her skirt (presumably so that her silouhette would appear better).

      It seemed like whole the activity was just too goofy for most people. Then again, people probably thought that about DDR at first too.
  • Yes, but does it run Linux?
  • Now I can pay at the arcade to mimic a siezure in front of people! Sweet!
  • Do you get rewarded for dancing like an uncoordinated fat man with a hula hoop?
  • the Elaine Benes [] style of dancing then? Described as "a full-bodied dry heave set to music" by George.

    I'd love seeing everyone do the little kicks!
  • CNET [].

    I think on of the images there is the guts of the full-body-musical-touch-sensor-thingie. It appears to allow you to touch various parts of your body to activate those specific synths. Bang bang bang...

  • I mean, think of the full body recognition, with a wand attachment for on-screen verification, and how many ubergeeks will suddenly learn really cool dance moves that will wow all the babes who will think they're super hot.

    Oh, yeah, for the standard geek in high school, this is going to be a lifesaver!
  • ITG [] has hand steps. Either you have to hit more than two arrows at once, or you have to be planted on two freeze arrows and still hit other arrows.

    Not quite the same, but it involves more than your feet. Especially in Double mode - Bend Your Mind Expert Double has four freeze arrows you have to hold down simultaneously, and then you need to hit two more arrows. It does a number on your knees though.
  • I used to be a DDR freak, well not a master but definitely very much into it. I think this was mostly because it was the only way to get girls to come to my apartment (and that it did, very well I might add). It was my exercise, my passion, but then one day I decided to go all the way - TWO MATS BABY! Long story short, it's nine months later and my big toe has still not recovered from that "experience". With each step I'm reminded why the game comes with injury warnings...

    DDR, you're a real bastard!
  • The only way this could be work is if they showed you a real dance routine and had you mimick it. Just jumbling up a random set of posses seems stupid.
  • You know, the only reason DDR doesn't look like dancing for many players is because a lot of people play in such a way as to nullify both the "dancing" and the "workout" element--what we refer to as "bar rapers". Yes. If you lay on the bar and flail your feet, you're going to get a great score but not impress anyone. Where's the fun in that? There's nothing like playing a round of doubles and turning around to find that half the food court has surrounded you in a huge semicircle and is applauding.

    In fac
  • It's actually more fun and has a better chance of getting you laid...
    • Not only do most people can't dance, more importantly, most clubs today feature music that's not very dancy. I can dance to some of it, but it is challenging to do so without a driving line and to a rather boring beat. It's far easier to dance to a song with variable lyrics, things like guitar runs etc. I have a lot more fun dancing at a blues concert than I do in a typical nightclub.

      Try to dance to a typical salsa beat and then try something from a mainstream club. You'll find dancing to salsa an easier mo

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears