Microsoft reveals more Kinect for Windows projects

Kinect for Windows launched just over a month ago and so far the spin-off of the Xbox 360 gaming device seems to have caught on with a number of commercial businesses; that includes a project to make robotic shopping carts a reality. In a new entry on the Microsoft Power and Utilities blog, the company points out a couple of other ways Kinect is being used by businesses and organizations.

One such effort is being developed by Ferranti, which created a proof-of-concept project that uses the motion gesture tech of Kinect to help a user monitor energy rates in the home. The MECOMS Smart Home system links a TV with the Kinect device with a user's local utility company. Combined with smart meters set up inside the home, the Kinect app can be used to see if, for example, an electrical appliance is using too much energy and needs to be fixed or replaced.

Microsoft also gives some attention to another Kinect-based project from Bentley Applied Research. It is using its own software program called MicroStation that, combined with the Kinect device and software, will allow the user to navigate though 3D models of structures with just hand gestures. You can see a video showing off the software prototype above. It's likely that we will see more and more of these kinds of non-gaming Kinect applications and products in the months ahead.

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5 Comments

Hmmm, kind of unimpressive video... These types of interfaces need to be able to detect hand orientation and finger movements for the interaction to be a bit richer, it seems to be a bit too buggy and clunky at the moment. Breast-stroke anyone?

noleafclover said,
it seems to be a bit too buggy and clunky at the moment

I don't think it's buggy, he was doing the movements to show that it'll purposefully ignore the hands if they're outside the given safe zone, or for a two hand gesture if they're not both in the safe zone.

Hand orientation and finger movement are certainly possible to detect, but for one or two people working to create something like this is pretty good stuff.

noleafclover said,
Hmmm, kind of unimpressive video... These types of interfaces need to be able to detect hand orientation and finger movements for the interaction to be a bit richer, it seems to be a bit too buggy and clunky at the moment. Breast-stroke anyone?

You mean a project that is still in development - "One such effort is ***being developed*** by Ferranti" - has some bugs and does not have all the features you want?

If anybody says anything bad about Siri, first you are labelled a hater, then they start whining about it being beta software (even though you paid for that beta software). But Windows 8 is not bug free and feature complete because it is beta, or some software that is shown off that is currently being developed, and the Apple crowd is more than happy to start jumping around complaining about it not being perfect.

nohone said,

You mean a project that is still in development - "One such effort is ***being developed*** by Ferranti" - has some bugs and does not have all the features you want?

If anybody says anything bad about Siri, first you are labelled a hater, then they start whining about it being beta software (even though you paid for that beta software). But Windows 8 is not bug free and feature complete because it is beta, or some software that is shown off that is currently being developed, and the Apple crowd is more than happy to start jumping around complaining about it not being perfect.


The difference is Windows 8 is provided for Free and not really promoted. Siri is promoted as a key feature of the iphone 4s in commercials. Also you are paying money for the product.

Melfster said,

The difference is Windows 8 is provided for Free and not really promoted. Siri is promoted as a key feature of the iphone 4s in commercials. Also you are paying money for the product.

That is what I said when I wrote in reference to Siri:


even though you paid for that beta software

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