10 Awesome Ways to Use Kinect For Augmented Reality

The last year the augmented reality movement has been accelerating at an ever increasing pace as new applications and companies are forming so fast it’s hard to keep up.  The addition of the Kinect sensor has given the technology an even bigger power boost and now I can barely keep up with just the Kinect related news, even when I regularly check the Kinect Hacks site.

While I’m certain this list and content would be different in another month, I think there is enough Kinect related stuff to take a look at the top ten uses of the Kinect sensor for augmented reality.  Here they are, in no particular order:

10. Play Music

Who says Tom Hanks should have all the fun?  I could show you a number of Kinect hacks for playing the piano with your hands, but doing it Big-style is all the more awesome.

9. Graffitti Tool

With the world as your canvas let your artistic soul flow.

8. Lightsaber Battles

Embrace the dark side with your inner Jedi.  Be the Star Wars Kid in real-time.  Now we just need some game play around the hack.

7. Utilize the technology from the Minority Report

Besides bringing us couch jumping madness on the Oprah show, Tom Cruise also played a part in bringing AR to the big screen.  Now you can utilize that same technology on your TV screen.

6. Puppet Shows

Puppets?  Puppets are kids stuff right?  Unless you’re not counting Chucky, Bride of Chucky, that alien thing that bursts out of your chest, etc.

5. Robot Sight

One of the biggest reasons why robots aren’t more widespread is because they can’t see the world like we do.  The Kinect system now gives robot designers a quick and easy way to help their robot see.  I’m even investigating using it for our automated logistics delivery vehicles at work.

4. Playing Games

Pretty obvious one, eh?  Could find a good dozen games to show you, but I’m a fan of the classics.  Besides, there’s that whole Xbox thing you can purchase that has a ton more Kinect games on it.  Who knew?

3. Invisibility

Not very useful until AR glasses are in widespread use, but to look like the Predator in your very own living room is spectacular.

2. Projection into Virtual Worlds

Lightsabers, remote projection, space stations; this hack has everything and more.  Even more fantastic is that the two people in the video are projecting from separate location.  Could Kinect sensors make telepresence more usable?

1. Sign Language Recognition

One of technologies more profound benefits to humankind is the ability to give those with disabilities more access to the world.  Just like a translation software, the Kinect sensor can read sign language and convert to human speech.  Or teach deaf children how to learn sign language.

Special thanks to Kinect Hacks for continuing to catalog the many wondrous uses of the Kinect sensor.