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Microsoft Kinect Turns 1, Opening Up to Serious Business

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

Kinect has the potential to be a very important invention.

Almost one year ago, on November 4, 2010, Microsoft launched one of the most revolutionary devices on the market today – the Kinect. It's entirely possible that Microsoft didn't know what it had on its hands. After all, the Kinect was a gaming peripheral for the Xbox – hardly serious business. But then the hacking community got its hands on it, making it so much more.

Microsoft's new TV ad for the Kinect recognizes all the other uses of this technology. Check it out below:

Kinect Hackers

While these are dramatizations, they're based on real-world work. Tedesys, a technology startup in Cantebria, Spain, that is working on software that will make Kinect useful in an operating room.

During surgeries, the doctors can use gestures and motions to review a patient's medical information without the need to leave the sterile environment to touch paper or keyboard.

"Using Microsoft Kinect, they can check information on the patient without touching anything, and in this way they can avoid [the risk] of bacterial infection," said Jesus Perez, Tedesys' chief operating officer.

Microsoft announced that it will release a commercial SDK in 2012, meaning that the Kinect will officially move from being just a gaming peripheral to a full market device. Microsoft named Toyota, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Razorfish as companies developing commercial Kinect applications.

UPDATE: The Windows SDK has hit beta 2 and it's available for download here.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    house70 , November 4, 2011 1:21 PM
    CKKwanKinect used in sugeries?! What if it reads the hand movement wrongly and cut the wrong part ....

    Dude, it's for interacting with data onscreen without having to touch anything... not to actually cut someone. Read the article.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    cookies , November 4, 2011 1:09 PM
    Awesome. I dig the orchestral version of Pixies - Where is my Mind.
  • Display all 26 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    house70 , November 4, 2011 1:21 PM
    CKKwanKinect used in sugeries?! What if it reads the hand movement wrongly and cut the wrong part ....

    Dude, it's for interacting with data onscreen without having to touch anything... not to actually cut someone. Read the article.
  • 6 Hide
    LORD_ORION , November 4, 2011 2:04 PM
    Yep, next iteration of the device will be exciting to see.
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , November 4, 2011 2:18 PM
    kinect is an invention?
    kinect's uses in different situations make it better tham wii's controllers. i wonder if nintendo will ever let wii controllers be hacked.
  • 6 Hide
    michaelahess , November 4, 2011 2:40 PM
    There are a LOT of "hacks" for wii controllers, I use one for a giant white board for example. I also use it to play old games on my android tablets. Just because they haven't released an SDK or "allowed" hacking, doesn't mean it's not happening.
  • 1 Hide
    igot1forya , November 4, 2011 3:52 PM
    I'm STILL waiting for MS to make it more useful for navigating the dashboard - it seems like a waste to not integrate it into the whole dashboard. In the least let me tell it to "POWER DOWN" when I want to shut the console off.
  • 1 Hide
    jcb82 , November 4, 2011 4:14 PM
    LORD_ORIONYep, next iteration of the device will be exciting to see.


    Most likely, they'll increase the resolution of the images so that they'd be able to capture finer movements like finger movements or facial expressions. But think what's really lacking in the gaming industry is creativity to come up with compelling concepts other than dance central for the system.
  • -4 Hide
    theconsolegamer , November 4, 2011 4:23 PM
    "Almost one year ago, on November 4, 2010, Microsoft launched one of the most revolutionary devices on the market today – the Kinect."

    Hahaha yeah, pretend the PS Eye never existed.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , November 4, 2011 4:28 PM
    Self-gloryfing PROPAGANDA.
  • 0 Hide
    mrsphex , November 4, 2011 5:00 PM
    theconsolegamer"Almost one year ago, on November 4, 2010, Microsoft launched one of the most revolutionary devices on the market today – the Kinect."Hahaha yeah, pretend the PS Eye never existed.


    Lets also pretend the Kinect is actually 'revolutionary'
  • 5 Hide
    Intel_Hydralisk , November 4, 2011 5:31 PM
    That's pretty awesome to see the reference to medical use in operating rooms. I work for a company that makes EMR software which demo'd this very feature just last month.
  • 5 Hide
    dalethepcman , November 4, 2011 5:34 PM
    theconsolegamerHahaha yeah, pretend the PS Eye never existed.


    So you think attaching a glowing baseball to the end of a Wii controller is more of a revolution than a computer controlled by natural movement and voice?

    I would hate to live in the future of your dreams...
  • 3 Hide
    Vladislaus , November 4, 2011 7:26 PM
    theconsolegamer"Almost one year ago, on November 4, 2010, Microsoft launched one of the most revolutionary devices on the market today – the Kinect."Hahaha yeah, pretend the PS Eye never existed.

    The PS Eye is just a webcam, please don't confuse things.
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , November 4, 2011 10:42 PM
    de5_roykinect is an invention?kinect's uses in different situations make it better tham wii's controllers. i wonder if nintendo will ever let wii controllers be hacked.


    already has been, and it can make 3d tech that beats the crap out of current tech, especially for games. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw

    MrSphexLets also pretend the Kinect is actually 'revolutionary'


    it is... just not inside of games.
    to a developer on a budget, or a 1 man game, they can motion capture, and they can even rough make any 3d model with the kinect,

    the applications outside of games is FAR greater than anything inside of them.

    dalethepcmanSo you think attaching a glowing baseball to the end of a Wii controller is more of a revolution than a computer controlled by natural movement and voice? I would hate to live in the future of your dreams...


    in the purpose of gaming, the ps3 move is FAR better than the wii, which puts the camera in your hand. it also allows you to use 2 motion tracking devices for 1 player, apposed to using 2, and i am assuming that its also cheaper, on top of having more in game functions. the problem is, people look at it as a ball of light on top of a wii controller without understanding why. let me ask this, besides a wii mote controller like shame, what other shapes are there for a motion controller? there are 2 answers, there are none currently, which is true, and there are no practical other shapes that conform to any game, which is also true.

  • 3 Hide
    back_by_demand , November 4, 2011 11:37 PM
    theconsolegamerHahaha yeah, pretend the PS Eye never existed.

    No one is pretending it never existed.
    The same way no one pretends the horse & cart never existed even though we now have motor cars.
    We should tell everyone about the PS Eye, if only to remind everyone how far technology has advanced since then.
  • 4 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , November 5, 2011 12:17 AM
    MrSphexLets also pretend the Kinect is actually 'revolutionary'


    It's always funny reading comments from idiot haters that have no idea what they're talking about. Kinect captures your entire body in 3D. The Wii and the Eyetoy don't do anything close to this.

    You know when you watch those "making of" videos and the dudes are doing motion capture work? They wear the black spandex suits with the little white spots all over, and then use expensive arrays of cameras fed into a computer to mo-cap. Kinect does the exact same thing as that without the suit and video array. It's on a whole other level.

    At least learn before you run your mouth.

  • 0 Hide
    alidan , November 5, 2011 1:23 AM
    jkflipflop98It's always funny reading comments from idiot haters that have no idea what they're talking about. Kinect captures your entire body in 3D. The Wii and the Eyetoy don't do anything close to this.You know when you watch those "making of" videos and the dudes are doing motion capture work? They wear the black spandex suits with the little white spots all over, and then use expensive arrays of cameras fed into a computer to mo-cap. Kinect does the exact same thing as that without the suit and video array. It's on a whole other level.At least learn before you run your mouth.


    no... it doesn't... i forget what the kinect uses, infra red or something, shoots out the crap, figures out how far crap is away from it.

    i believe it than tries to find the human body, and aproxamate where everything is, and it does it to a very great degree of accuracy. and it also guesses when it cant see where your hand is.

    if someone wrote the software, you could get 2 or 4 of these, and have a pretty decent mocap area, it wont be as good as a pro one, but it also only cost you 600$+ software.

    take a look at the tech behind the kinect.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , November 5, 2011 1:33 AM
    alidanthe problem is, people look at it as a ball of light on top of a wii controller without understanding why. let me ask this, besides a wii mote controller like shame, what other shapes are there for a motion controller? there are 2 answers, there are none currently, which is true, and there are no practical other shapes that conform to any game, which is also true.
    The problem is, people actually know that it's a ball on top of a WiiMote and understand why.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2011 1:45 AM
    check out http://wyliefishing.com/blog/, up to date fishing reports, temp and visibility data, photo gallery and a blog that is updated daily.
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