Surprisingly though, quite many people started hacking it to use it for purposes other than gaming (which is evident here). Most of the hacks are quite raw/not very refined/incomplete and what have you, but they do a fantastic job of showing what this technology is capable of doing. Perhaps with a little more R&D, funding etc., these hacks can become full fledged solutions for the masses in the future.
This post is about a similar hack that can be extremely beneficial to people with impaired mobility and/or underdeveloped motor skills.
Recently, at MIX11, Microsoft demoed a recliner that was powered by Kinect and a Windows laptop. The recliner has four motorized omni-directional wheels at the bottom, with each wheel having its own motor, and the movement of the wheels is determined by the hand movements of the person controlling the chair (and the Kinect). The chair even reclines when the person brings his right hand to the bottom right (as seen in video).
Microsoft would be soon launching the Kinect SDK for PC which allows people to use the Kinect for similar (and not so similar) purposes using Kinect and Windows. Click here to know more about the SDK.
I read about this armchair at various sources, and everywhere the readers were discussing how this chair would make people lazy and fat. However, nobody seemed to discuss the benefits of this chair for people with limited mobility/ underdeveloped motor skills, etc. Does this chair not seem practical? Do people generally not think about people with disabilities? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
Here is a short video of the “Kinect Driveable Lounge Chair” being explained.
To see the awesome omni-directional wheel in action (and to see the chair enter the stage) watch this video and skip to 07:09.