The underestimated power of devices like Kinect #

November 16 2010

What I believe could happen to family video recording, or what is belief of many people, the next generation technology of porn (holographic). Also as a side note, by holographic, I almost always refer to 3D projection.

Kinect is a device that let's you control your Xbox Kinect supported games without controller. It's more than that, tough. Putting together the last developments around this device, gives you an idea of its full potential.

User Interface applications

Using Kinect and libtisch to keep track of hand gestures

Using Kinect as a sensor for hand movement tracking and gestures (using the open source library libtisch). See also voice recognition.

3D Video Capturing, and almost holographic projection

You capture your 3D video of your children, with a device like this

Just after a few days after the open drivers were released by Hector Martin, Oliver Kreylos of UC Davis released, what I'd like to call, the most thrilling application for this device (released as OSS!). This is what I find the most exciting till now, because we're almost enabled to capture 3D video, and to project it in a tactile holographic or volumetric way[1][2]. All this is becoming very cheap (the capturing device itself costs only €150 (which is always US$150)).

And you project it as a holographic (from the 2002 movie Minority Report)

Voice Recognition

Under the shadow of the video capturing, there are 4 relatively advanced mics. Although don't know if the speech recognition is part of the Xbox 360 SDK.

What should've been Microsoft focus for Kinect

What I'm asking to myself is how could MS not see this. Sure the "gaming experience" as they market it is an important market for the Xbox, but not as licensing the devices for various applications. There are lots of people now that will simply buy the device, and just use the available open drivers. MS should've offered since the start an sdk for different applications than gaming. Let's see how it goes.


  1. See Volumetric Display on Wikipedia for a fast introduction on the topic.
  2. Iwamoto, T., M. Tatezono, T. Hoshi, and H. Shinoda. “Airborne ultrasound tactile display.” In ACM SIGGRAPH 2008 new tech demos, 1, 2008.
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