The Kinect sensor is Microsoft’s response to the success of Nintendo’s Wii machine. That has a motion sensitive controller and the game responds to its movements. With the Kinect and an Xbox 360, the game responds to your movements. This has led to some very interesting new developments.
Several smart young tech types have already figured out how to use the Kinect to draw in 3D, create 3D videos and control robots with their body movements. We went to YouTube.com and watched Tomoto Washio transform himself into Ultra Seven, a Japanese superhero. He appeared to be shooting a stream of sparks and flames wherever he pointed his hand. He could also appear to detach a crescent from his hat, throw it, and have it return to the hat.
Using two Kinect sensors attached to the same Xbox, hacker Oliver Kreylos, was able to create holograms of himself. They can be rotated and as he turned you could see that the other side of his head wasn’t there. Another hacker used arm movements to make a small robot do push-ups.
To see these and others, go to YouTube.com and search on “Kinect 3D” or go to KinectHacks.net. It’s just an amusement but we have the clear feeling that there’s something more going on here. We could certainly see future robots and robotic weapons directed by someone gesturing or making other motions from a distant point.