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Monday
Nov152010

Potentially an amazing opportunity for voice and motion control POS in store

Really innovative POS that you control with proximity body movements plus has face and voice recognition? Easy! hack the new Xbox Kinect games consol so it works on a laptop rather than a Xbox

I have become really interested by the hackers who in a matter of days have broken most of the code behind the new Kinect Xbox game system. Why have I come over all geek?

Well, it could mean in a matter of months time having a POS unit instore that recognizes your skin, hair or body type as you approach and changes accordingly, it would know if you were in a group or alone. You could interact with it simply by waving your hands or speaking.

You could even have shoppers do some action at fixture that is then downloaded straight to their Facebook account or mobile handset.

You could already build a POS unit to do all these things, but the cost of the components and time needed to test it all would be exorbitant. The Kinect unit is currently £129 in the UK, but likely to drop dramatically next year. Most hackers have got the units to work in a simple manner, in a few months time I'd expect pretty much all of the Kinect to be open. The possibilties of two kinects facing each other could deliver full 3D capture (see Oliver Kreylos video below)

Microsoft does not approve or support any of these hacks, but even Google’s offering prizes to coders who can break into the Kinect and produce secondary uses. YouTube has this weekend (14/11/10) seen loads of videos appear of Kinect hacks in action.

It might all seem a bit geeky (well, OK, it is) but subverting tech is a very fun way to gain knowledge and leap frog into rapid prototyping

Background links

http://bit.ly/c0Eaev = Adafruit.com, People behind first Kinect hack 4 days ago

http://bit.ly/aXOdIG = Matt Cutts blog, The guy behind Google’s hack-a-Kinect into a secondary use competition

http://bit.ly/9kDT8x = Oliver Kreylos Video of 3D image capture using a hacked Kinect

http://bit.ly/a7GAXh = Video of a Multi touch interface using a hacked Kinect

http://tisch.sourceforge.net = Open source code to download, so you can hack your very own Xbox Kinect – from the guy who built the motion control example shown.