Microsoft Kinect

The Kinect infra red based sensor is like a supercharged webcam, managing full body 3D motion capture, gesture and facial recognition, and soon to include voice recognition.


The Kinect infra red based sensor is like a supercharged webcam, managing full body 3D motion capture, gesture and facial recognition, and soon to include voice recognition.

What impressed judges at CES is the power of Kinect to customize the gaming experience through body scans, used in games like Your Shape : Fitness Evolved. As opposed to some other video fitness games, Kinect tracks your whole body, the representation of which you can see on the screen. The game ‘knows’ what you’re doing right and wrong, ensuring a genuine sweaty session rather than a cheating one.

It’s not all yoga and aerobics sessions, in gym games you can have a crack at twirling a hulu hoop…not as easy as you may think, or just smashing some virtual blocks, which is easy, and quite satisfying.

Kinect has also encouraged the release of more family based games, such as Kinect Joy Ride – a racing game with no steering wheel, no acceleration and no braking.

Its fun looking and easy to play. What I enjoyed about the game is the relationship between your body and the sensor, it doesn’t feel weird to not have a controller, it feels great, and the leaning forward and back for stunts keeps gaming to a full body experience, rather than just your thumbs. As they say, you are the controller. And it does work, very, very well.