I tested the Xbox 360 system with full-body motion sensing system Kinect a few months back and said it was revolutionary. I had a chance to spend hours with it today and that early opinion I developed is right on. This thing is incredible and allows Microsoft to leap ahead of the pack of computer companies looking for the next user interface.
In short, the technology senses the location of your full-body and as a result, games can utilize the location of your body, legs, arms, hands and feet as input. So unlike a Nintendo Wii, there is no sensor needed – you just walk in front of the TV and start playing.
Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Television Commercial
Some games utilize the camera to take pictures of you while you are jumping around in what turn out to be pretty awkward but funny positions. At the end of the game they show them to you and make the entire experience even better.
Some of the benefits of this new video game are that it not only gets the kid off the couch, it gets them interacting with others – even – gasp, their parents. So really, I consider this piece of technology to be fantastic because it brings families together and keeps them in shape. Even if you are in shape when you start playing – you may find yourself sweating and out of breath.
The interface itself of course has infinite possibilities and eventually the gesture-based system may be integrated in many of the computer tasks we perform. It is especially interesting when you consider the fusion of an interface which is based on moving your hands and feet with swiping and other gestures used in a touch-screen environment.
Other reviewers have complained about the set-up of the Xbox 360 Kinect but I wasn’t too put off by it – it wasn’t too terrible and can be accomplished in about 20-30 minutes.
There is also a speech interface which I didn’t play with too much – I may report on it later. In the mean time, this device is a winner and if Microsoft can keep the momentum going it can become an in company once again – rivaling Apple in the cool category.