A new way of interaction
Microsoft Kinect is a motion sensing device developed Microsoft. Initially it was thought as an improvement of the playing experience with the Microsoft’s video game console, Xbox 360. Later, it has become a source of opportunities to create new ways of interaction with all kind of platforms. Its uses come from industrial purposes to health support in hospitals. The Kinect sensor is being introduced in health environments and nowadays it can be seen in surgery rooms for supporting doctors during the surgery or in the patients’ home, helping them with the rehabilitation process.
In the following image we can see the parts that form the device:
For achieving the 3D depth image, one of the 3D depth sensors throws a big amount of infrared rays with a specific pattern. The other 3D depth sensor read point where the infrared rays has found the obstacles of the scene and calculates the distance from the sensor to the obstacle and the rotation respect to the sensor. Once this calculation has been done for each infrared ray, the sensor is able to provide a new 3D depth map so that it can be used by a video game console or a computer. The device includes also an RGB camera that provides RGB maps like an actual webcam and a multi-array of microphones used lately to implement voice recognition.
In order to see in detail the 3D depth sensors running, the infrared rays thrown can be seen as a lot of dots all over the scene if you use a night vision camera, as we can appreciate in the following video: