The Kinect motion gesture technology may have been created for Xbox 360 games, but, as we have seen many times over the past several months, Microsoft and third party developers have expanded the capabilities of Kinect for non-gaming applications. Much of that expansion has been due to Microsoft releasing a version of Kinect, along with an SDK tool set, for Windows 7.
Now a Microsoft team based in India has come up with a way to use the Kinect technology in order to help people who are hearing or speech impaired. Zeenews.com reports that according to a Microsoft spokesperson:
Hand gestures will be recognized by the device and will be converted as text or voice. This is useful for visually impaired people also. They can just speak to the computer and it will be converted into text.
Another Microsoft team has created an app called Kinectacles that can even help visually impaired people get around better. It uses the Kinect product, along with a regular VGA camera and a depth camera, to scan inside a room. The Microsoft spokesperson said, "A built-up voice will give suggestions to the person based on the distance between the blind person and object."
These projects could be launched on their own by the Microsoft employees who developed them, according to the article.