Video gaming has evolved to an extent that they can even read your thoughts – well almost. The Microsoft Kinect can follow your movements and even listen to you. To do this it has an array of sensors both optic and audio which constantly monitor the movements of players. This means you no longer have to hold any controller for playing games. To use Kinect you need to plug it into an Xbox 360 (Microsoft is soooo good at doing these things – making their new products ride piggyback on their popular stuff). It also comes bundled with new Xbox 360.
Having read so much about the Kinect, there was a sense of déjà vu when a friend gifted it to me. Frankly gifting Kinect should be banned since it is like giving a cigarette to a small boy – instantly addictive and dangerous. In fact I had to take a day off simply to breathe in the experience. Overall Microsoft Kinect purred nicely and worked like a dear. Only when I tried to use it while lying down that it started giving trouble – said that I had no legs. Of course silly, how could it detect my legs?
The inside story
To do the tricks, Microsoft Kinect has a motor fixed at the bottom which is connected to the top sensor bar. This bar senses movement of players and transmits it to the software which translates this into a 3D mesh. These images are processed and then the signals are sent to the Xbox console.
The sensors in Kinect have two cameras and an infrared projector. One of the camera and the infrared sensor is used to provide depth information. The other sensor is used for detection purposes. These sensors provide the visual data.
For audio sensing, Microsoft Kinect has four microphones which for some vague reason point downwards. Have you seen any microphone facing down – Only if you want your ear to the ground? This goes to show that you can’t really say anything when it comes to technology.
All this sensor stuff means you have to do a bit of calibration – now you know why I took a day off my work. Once you are done you must not change the position of furniture in your room or you may have to recalibrate which means another day off which your boss may not agree to.
The experience after doing all this is terrific. The Microsoft Kinect is magic on hormones. Some users have reported that the machine is a bit clumsy. It may be because it was not calibrated but these things are known to be quirky.
The weak parts of Microsoft Kinect are of course the motor and mechanical system. There is a good probability that they may wear down fast. I know that game junkies would tear into it. It is better to treat it as if she were the new girl down the street – delicately with a little wink.