By AkIRA_22 7 Comments
I love games. I have done since I was a 4 year old playing Lode runner on my brothers C64. So this length of participation in this arena gives me a degree of insight... I like to think. There have been things that are awesome, SNES, and things that have been, not so awesome, Saturn. A thing that has caught my attention of late is the Microsoft Kinect. I have been interested because it's a unique piece of tech in the gaming industry. I like it because there is nothing else like it. I have been let down by it because nothing unique or great has been done with it.
The road starts when I joined the Australian Defence Force as a Electronics Technician. I get to know about certain technologies before they become a consumer item. One of the pieces of technology that has been the corner stone or the military is Infra Red Search and Track (IRST). This has allowed missiles to lock onto targets from beyond visual range, or units to defend themselves without emitting Radio Frequency Radiation. It is in essence a game changing piece of technology in the battle space.
With all things that relate to technology it's only a matter of time before a once military piece of equipment becomes consumer. It happened to the Internet, Radar and even Velcro. Kinect has taken IRST and applied it to the living room. It's taken decades for home computing to get to the point where a processor can allocate small portions of it's computational time to something as basic as an input command. Let alone one that has allowed it to compute the inputs of THREE cameras and a microphone, simultaneously, and with very little lag. This is the sort of thing that has been the domain of multi-million dollar military combat systems, the systems that make up the brain of the latest destroyers and combat aircraft.
The possibilities are wide ranging, but to call them exclusive to the Xbox is being overly simplistic. I would say most people who have been dealing with these systems in the military, medical and science industries would be perplexed to hear technology they have used for decades be trumpeted as cutting edge. I bring your attention to the latest Penny Arcade;
I understand that this is a parody, designed to poke fun at things we like and things we hate. However I find it a little degrading to the people that have spent their lives researching the technologies they have been harnessed over the past 50 years. To say the technology used to make the Kinect didn't exist and that the Kinect is the first time this technology is used, is to be disingenuous. You will not be making a hospital visit any time soon to have a doctor ask you to "smile into the Xbox", neither will blind people be walking around your local city with a Kincet on their head. 3D imagining technology has existed for decades, the only difference is it's widely known about now, it's in your living room, heck it's in your Gameboy! It's time for the gaming community to collectively take a deep breath and exhale.