To USB or Not to USB


XBox 360 Kinect – Not just for games

In 3 weeks, Microsoft will ship out Kinect for the XBox 360.  Kinect is a 3D Video Camera and Software. The Camera connects to your XBox through the XBox USB port.  It allows you to play games without a controller.  The early reviews indicate that this is the most precise motion control system ever, where the system uses “1 million points” on your body for greater precision.

Microsoft demonstrated Video Conferencing using the XBox 360 at E3.  I expect that Microsoft could roll this technology out for Desktop/Laptop PCs for more than gaming. It could be used for video conferencing, and 3D video conferencing.

According to Gamespot, PrimeSense built the PrimeSensor 3D camera, the technology at the heart of the Kinect.  PrimeSense Primesensor 3D CameraMI guess the dual camera system allows for more precise measurements of body position.


Microsoft filed a patent for  the use of American Sign Language (ASL) for “voice chat” over games.   Microsoft’s patent indicates that it could be used for the Hearing Impaired to communicate with other on-line players.  The players gestures would be translated to a voice chat, actual audio to the other players.   The Patent itself has an example that says, “You’ve been Pwned”.  Translated from Gamer Smack Talk this means, “I beat you so badly at this game that you should turn off your XBox and never play again.”

More interesting to me, potentially, ASL could be used for non-keyboard input of data or chat.  Extend this technology to the desktop or your mobile phone, and you no longer need to type.  Maybe, I could convey ideas in phrases faster than I could type whole sentences.

Will people learn ALS?  Will mobile phones have user-facing cameras for input?  I can only say, that it’s an option.  If we can learn abbreviations like. “OTW” or “OTP” or “R U Crazy”, we should be able to learn dozens or hundreds of gestures which convey more meaning.

That’s my revelation for today.

Videos from Microsoft’s E3 Launch embedded below.


For more demos, go to YouTube and search on “Kinect XBox E3”

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