In the recent times, one of the technology that has shown much promise to help people in India and worldwide around is one from Microsoft’s Kitchen. The motion sensing technology Kinect initially planned for bringing more excitement to a gamer’s life has now been extended, hacked and in sighted as the next big thing in the entertainment industry as well as in the technology sector.
Playing games on Kinect made me workout so much I was sweating after a few games. Kinect is a great way for people who spend their most of the time in front of computers, to keep in shape as it works in dual mode i.e. Stress buster + Health Care Taker. In fact, Microsoft is planning to launch aerobics games for Kinect which may definitely help people stay in shape without going to next door gym.
Kinect, may be advanced enough to read your lips or even hand gestures just like in the movie Minority Report. It may be able to read your emotional states, as well. This could give an opportunity to physically handicapped people like mute or deaf can use gestures to express their views which Kinect can decode and interpret in voice signals. This can also help people who are not much literate communicate or express themselves to those who do not understand their language. This may be particularly helpful for interpretation of regional language.
Kinecthesia, a project conceived by students at University of Pennsylvania features a Kinect that is wired to a set of motors, enabling the blind or visually impaired to navigate around a room (or even in an open space), using feedback via the motors in order to assess objects in their path. The user wears it like a belt, letting it sense objects in 3D space.
Researchers at the University of Missouri and TigerPlace, have found new ways to use Kinect to detect early signs of illness and risk of falling in seniors. They are using Kinect to monitor behavior and routine changes in patients. The changes they monitor can indicate increased risks for falls or early symptoms of illness. Also, they have developed a fall detection system using Doppler radar to recognize changes in walking, bending, and other body motions that may indicate onset risks of falls. Each body part creates a unique signature and the Doppler radar allows each body part to be recognized allowing for easier recognition of a fall.
Though each hack, modification is different in functionality, they serve the same premise: Helping people and making the world safer for older individuals, the one with less ability or one who are in rural areas. For the developing country like India, where rural population is in abundance, Kinect can be really an important technology that can help improve and shape people’s lives. The applications discussed above are just a preview of what we have got in just a single year of launch of Kinect the hardware which costs $150 and replaces $7000 in sensors, and within next few months we may see more innovative applications of this technology that can enrich lives of people not just in India but Worldwide.