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Kinect, A Boon for Future Robotics and Smart Phones

The Kinect gaming accessory is proving how new technology can help improve older ones. The device from Microsoft which was devised to enable full body gesture interaction with a video game is now likely to help robots expand their scope. The low cost and easy to use sensor system is allowing robotics to gather the information they about the environment around them.

Microsoft has also released its robotic product that can use the Kinect. Its called the Robotics Development Studio and the software can be downloaded for free. It runs on Visual Studio and it can be used to program real robots or just to use the built in simulator. And now the miracle is being absorbed by smartphones as well.

In 2010 Microsoft bought gesture-recognition company Canesta, and its chip-level pattern recognition. This may provide a return in the form of a smaller Kinect-type product that fits into a handset. The result could be a really intelligent smart phone. Imagine being able to perform sophisticated gesture recognition for natural user interfaces, autonomous navigation and many other tasks on the phone.

The technology would go even further than voice or face recognition. It would allow the owner of the phone to connect, put on hold or text a message without saying anything and merely making the appropriate gesture. Its still early days but the possibilities are endless.


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