Kinect for Xbox360 may sound like a game, and play like a game and quack like a game, but in the hands of innovators, it’s not just a game. Holding the Guinness World Record for being the “fastest selling consumer electronics device,” Kinect allows gamers to interact with the Xbox without a game controller. This capability is made possible by a range of high tech camera technology along with sensors and lasers all assembled through a collaboration of geeks. But true geeks don’t just play games, they modify. And so it is that in the hands of roboticists, Kinect is going in an entirely new direction. And what is a roboticist, you ask? Well, they are the people behind robots.
In the hands of roboticists, Kinect heralded a new generation of devices that could harness the power of Kinect technology to make robots that were able to move themselves around more easily. Soon there were identifiable flying objects, cars and other vehicles able to navigate difficult terrain on a single launch. And it was possible cheaper and easier than ever due to Kinect technology. While some may have thought of this as some kind of hacking, Microsoft eventually embraced the idea – well after originally being ambivalent. Some minds used the technology to create pornography. In any case, Microsoft released the Kinect software development kit so that brainiacs everywhere could go to work creating apps, robots, visual effects and others things that are both “kinetic” and “connected.”
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