The University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (known as “RCAST” for short、thankfully!), in conjunction with Microsoft Japan, has launched trials of new a computer program that utilise Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows technology as a way for physically disabled people to communicate and interact with computers.
For the uninitiated, Kinect is a motion-sensing camera designed for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console and Windows PCs that tracks users’ body movements and is capable of recognising voice commands. The technology first became available for Xbox users just under two years ago, with Microsoft heralding a new age of gameplay where “you are the controller”, seeing users flapping around their living-rooms like maniacs to control their video games.
While games that utilise Kinect well have been few and far between, it would seem that the technology, once intended as a competitor to Nintendo’s popular Wii console, could soon be changing disabled people’s lives for the better.