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Microsoft's Kinect Isn't Just For Games


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Microsoft's long-awaited body-sensing technology, Project Natal, got a new name last week at the E3 expo in Los Angeles. Kinect, as it is now called, is a set-top add-on for the Xbox 360 console that allows gamers to become the controller: move your arm and your on-screen character moves the same way; jump and it jumps.

While Microsoft says Kinect will transform the way users play computer games, many hardcore gamers are dubious. Earlier this year New Scientist revealed that the depth-sensing camera is capable of identifying and tracking body parts to within a 4-centimetre cube in space, every 10 milliseconds, using just 10 to 15 per cent of the Xbox's computing resources. It's that latter statistic in particular that worries some gamers, who argue that any drain on computing resources will have a detrimental impact on game quality.

Whether or not Kinect succeeds as a gaming platform will become clearer when the device goes on sale in November. But games are only the starting point for interface-less technology, according to one of the Microsoft brains behind Kinect's advanced object recognition algorithms.

From New Scientist
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