I am with Don on the fate of the Kinect in my home. I haven't used the Kinect since the day it came into the house. The controller was just not that great for my kids and in my home and we quickly lost interest in the device. The coolest thing about Kinect to me is all the hacks that geeks have made using the motion controller. Microsoft Research is showing off a new concept that goes well beyond using your body as the controller for games.
The Microsoft concept shows a way to use your entire home as a game controller. The design would allow every surface in every room of your home to be used as control panels for games. All of the surfaces in the home are bathed in an electromagnetic field that is created by appliances and power wires nearby. The Microsoft concept is able to read those electromagnetic fields and recognize simple gestures by monitoring the person's position relative to the field.
The person is monitored by using a sensor that can be worn on the wrist or the neck. Software tracks thousands of different frequencies of voltages that are picked up by the sensor. The concept system was made to recognize a simple gesture like placing a hand on a wall. The hand placement on a specific wall could be used for things like adjusting lighting or changing the thermostat. Apparently, Microsoft isn't sure of the concept yet, it hasn't even applied for a patent.
[via New Scientist]