Patent approved for Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor

KinectGamers using Microsoft’s Xbox 360 may no longer need handheld controllers to play certain games, thanks to the company’s newly patented Kinect motion sensor. The technology is strangely reminiscent of “1984,” in which Big Brother—with the help of TVs—knew everything people were doing…but let’s not think about it that way. Instead, let’s focus on the benefits of the Kinect technology.

Kinect employs a sensor to track the body movements of a user, and converts that information to move the avatar on screen. So a boxing match or a dance contest will be more lifelike, and much more physically demanding! (The image above, found in the patent, demonstrates how Kinect works)

And although the following feature is not yet fully developed, Microsoft hopes to add American Sign Language recognition to Kinect! This would allow people who cannot speak to chat during online multiplayer games. Kinect developers are also looking to develop lip-reading software.

Check out the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s blog post about the Kinect technology.

Only time will tell how advanced this technology will become, but don’t bet against Microsoft just yet. We may be seeing all this and more very soon!