The Kinect technology developed by Microsoft has been adapted and used to perform jobs that were never even imagined by its original designers. The latest example of that comes from a team from Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications. In a new YouTube video, the team shows off their Kinect spin-off that can actually sense the motions of a human tongue.
First, you may be wondering why a research team would create such a thing. As it turns out, there are some real medical applications for a Kinect tongue movement detector. There are some people that have some motion issues with their tongue. The Kinect device, combined with some custom software, can be used to help these patients with their medical problems without the need to attach a device physically to a person's mouth.
The video shows a test subject playing a type of game where his tongue is used to move and fire on targets on a screen. The software created by the research team can extrapolate the approximate movement of the tongue by first detecting a person's eyes and then the movement of nose and mouth. As you might expect, this isn't 100 percent accurate but it's better than nothing. Perhaps future versions of the Kinect will allow for even more accurate motion sensing techniques to be applied.