Spent a sizeable chunk of the weekend playing with the cutting edge. In this case, it was hand gesture recognition and Hadoop.
I'm slowly making my way through the free Hadoop Fundamentals I course, offered by BigDataUniversity. It got off to a slow start because of the VM included with the class. It's only available via a self-extracting RAR set, requiring a Windows machine to rebuild it. I had to install a WIndows VM, extract the RAR, THEN convert it to an ESXi VM so that I could access it. I've managed to work my way into the lab at the end of Lesson 2 so far.
Another part of the weekend was more or less wasted on my trying to get hand gesture recognition up and running. I have this idea that I can get it set up with a modified web cam so that I can gesture in a darkened room and cause the lisghts to come on.
I managed to open one of my junk box web cams up and removed the filter over the sensor. It works pretty well, requiring only minimal light in the room. The hard part (still) appears to be the software needed to recognize a hand gesture and get it to run the WeMo software. I did get OpenCV built and am able to track my face (via one of the demos). Getting it to recognize hands and hand shapes still seems to be on a build-your-own level. In short, much more research (on my part) is needed.