New Scientist Magazine

As the Kinect camera gets closer to its launch date, people are starting to realize the capabilities of it.  As pointed out on the New Scientist, the ability to have “interface-less technology” isn’t only great for gaming, but can also be useful elsewhere. News Scientist is a weekly science and technology news magazine, considered by some to be the world’s best, with diverse subject matter.

Read on to find out more about the future of Kinect in other areas of expertise, in their view.

Camera’s for the future

Some surgeons are starting to think of ways to use a Kinect-like camera for their own job.  Jamie Shotton of Microsoft Research UK in Cambridge says, “Looking forward into the future, I expect to see it in other types of applications.”   ”We’re starting to think hard about that now.”

Even though the Kinect camera was made intentionally for gaming, Shotton believes that there are many other practical applications.  It could be used to have hands-free access to patient files for surgeons and even intelligent monitoring systems.  Furthermore Shotton says, Kinect-like technology could be used in a home-security system that would be smart enough to tell the difference between pets, friends of family, and an intruder.  ”The algorithm is essentially there for doing that kind of application, it’s just a question of whether this is a socially acceptable thing: having a camera looking in on people,” he says.

Milimeter Precision

With the Kinect camera, developers have access to a palette of 20 skeletal joints that are tracked in 3D, with which to create poses and gestures that the system will respond to.  Even though the current hardware and camera for Kinect limit its accuracy, a larger computation budget could lead to faster cameras that could provide millimeter precision.

Freeing Humans

John Underkoffler believes Kinect is part of a broader trend towards computers that understand and interact with humans in real space.  It can be used for many things from storing digital files in physical objects, to multiple people collaborating to build virtual objects using just their hands.   Underkoffler says computers that can track people and objects in real space will change the way we think about technology, freeing humans from the need to “subvert our anatomy to the tyranny of the mouse and keyboard”.

Thanks New Scientist.

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