Entrepreneurs Showcase Startling Array of Kinect-Based Tech

Hevva

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Aug 2, 2011
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Entrepreneurs Showcase Startling Array of Kinect-Based Tech


Kinect devices might find their most useful homes in hospitals.

Since Microsoft launched grooming cats in tandem with a Wiimote [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/115151-Kinect-for-Windows-Tagged-at-250] (no, really). In an effort to assist entrepreneurs with the development of more useful implementations for its tech, Microsoft recently invited a bunch of them to use its resources to develop market-viable products using Kinect as part of its "Accelerator" program. The results, now ready for demonstration, are impressive - and surprisingly useful.

The entrepreneurs involved in the projects arrived in eleven teams, each with its own idea for a Kinect-based product. The roster of developed items is intriguing, with an unexpected number of them focussed on potential applications in hospitals and other rehabilitative environments.

GestSure Technologies, for instance, has designed a device that allows surgeons to navigate patient's MRI and CT scans in the operating room without compromising the area's sterility. Fellow startup team Jintronix has developed a system that allows physiotherapists to track the movements of patients within virtual environments, enabling them to gain valuable insight into how said patients are moving without invading their space. Additionally, Zebcare's Kinect device keeps track of seniors without filming or recording them, alerting carers and family members if they suffer a fall or similar (not sure I'll be asking my grandkids for one of these, but you never know).

There are also a few retail-friendly devices in the group, with Kimetric offering a system that allows retailers to track and analyze customer movements in order to better understand how people use their stores. If we're talking furniture stores here, NConnex has developed a system that allows consumers to move virtual furniture around a scan of any room in their house, allowing people to play The Sims with their own couch before investing in actually moving the thing.

So! That about does us for the interesting non-shouting-at-your-Xbox applications that have sprouted from Microsoft's first attempt at assisting startup companies interested in using Kinect. While none of them look set to light the whole world on fire, the sheer variety of potential - and useful - non-wave-your-hands-at-this-advertisment [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/117968-Interactive-Kinect-Ads-Coming-to-Xbox-This-Fall] functions for the device is impressive. Do we see any of these making it to market, and if so, where else might they turn up in the future?


Source: Mashable [http://mashable.com/2012/06/29/entrepreneurs-kinect-technology-innovative/]



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twaddle

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I think its too early for the surgical application. The cat grooming one is not really practical, but the senior citizen I see could be done but I have to say if anyone is going to see real world application its going to be the one that tracks customers movements in stores. I think they already have the tech doing that but this may be cheaper more advance data collection system
 

FoolKiller

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I really do like the idea of using it to increase patient safety by keeping an OR more sterile through the use of this device. It just shows you that a lot of people are really clever in their ideas if they are given the opportunity to use the tech.

I also will applaud Microsoft because this is something that has given them many brownie points for opening it up instead of trying to control how people use their tech.
 

Not G. Ivingname

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PedroSteckecilo said:
The Kinect, phenomenal for everything but videogames
Microsoft has been marketing to the wrong market. :p

Still, they are starting to understand what a great tool this is for Engineers.
 

viranimus

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Nov 20, 2009
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That video did little or nothing to reinforce the point, or effectively illustrate anything the kinect is potentially going to be used for.

However, I am still fully behind it for industrial/commercial purposes as well as for gaming. It just needs more time/development to find how best to utilize it.
 

Amethyst Wind

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Now this is innovation. The Kinect was never going to work as a gaming peripheral but I'm glad that people are using it for things like this.

Motion Control definitely has a place in the world.
 

Frybird

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twaddle said:
I think its too early for the surgical application.
Its not used to perform surgeries. It's used for things that usually require buttons or keys to use, such as screens or cameras. Kinect Controls really come in handy there as without it, a surgeon either has to contaminate the controls by touching them (or worse, risk BEING contaminated if they are not being properly cleaned) or needs an assistant just to scroll and move around some images.

On topic, i agree with most of you here.

Motion Controlled Gaming with Kinect is at best of limited use (even if the tech would be better, there would still be issues with having to come up with buttonless controls that are intuitive and make sense), but outside of gaming, there are so many great possiblities. I was always more amazed with all the Kinect "Hacks" posted on the Internet or commercial/industrial uses like some mentioned above (i think i also heard of a Russian Clothing Store that uses Kinect as a sort of virtual changing room, also pretty clever) than with games.

Microsoft should really start working on a much more powerful (and much pricier) version of Kinect to sell as technology not meant for end-customers.
 

Quaxar

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Tracking seniors with a Kinect? I don't see how this could ever work in a regular environment.
For one thing you'd have to fill some homes with those things to properly track anything due to architectural issues. Also, there is already a much simpler and probably cheaper solution with a watch-like device that has a big button one can press in case of any problem.
The surgical application on the other hand I can kind of buy although of course there are other solutions already too.