Kinect Keeps An Eye On Grandma Without Invading Her Privacy

Because of the way its camera depicts what it sees, Kinect is being used by researchers to monitor elderly patients for their risk of a fall while still respecting their privacy. The device is helping the University of Missouri's independent living community predict health risks 10 to 14 days before their most serious symptoms manifest.

TigerPlace, the university's residential community that also conducts applied research on elderly care, had been using motion-sensing technology for years to monitor changes in residents' health. Kinect provides a more complete look by capturing data that is easy for MU researchers to analyse. And because it produces a silhouette image, not a full picture, residents don't feel as though their lives are being video recorded.

It's another application of a device whose modifications aren't limited to entertainment experiences. Researchers have found uses for Kinect in assisting the blind, studying mental disorders, and developing search-and-rescue technology for use in disaster recovery.

MU Researchers Use New Video Gaming Technology to Detect Illness, Prevent Falls in Older Adults [University of Missouri News via Gamasutra]

(Image by Shutterstock)


    Cue FoxNews to run an expose on how your kid's console is spying on your family.

      All as a means to spread that evil Liberal agenda!

      It all goes back to Kinect HQ which is staffed ENTIRELY BY PEADOPHILES!

        Not ENTIRELY by pedophiles. I'm told Satan is doing work experience AS THEIR STATIONARY CLERK! It's also his job to get their morning coffee, which they all take black, LIKE THEIR HEARTS! *cue generic pulse-raising background music*

          StationEry. Think "E" for "envelope".

          Also, tell Satan he still owes me that $5.

            Oh the horror, a typo. Or is it. Maybe he is in charge of the company going nowhere?

            Also, Satan says it was $10, don't try to rip off the dark lord, you won't like the results.

            To ben (below), good point. Maybe they are only using the 3D data and just not telling the people about the other imaging capabilities because their not being used.

              He's the one who owes me money. But if he's adamant that it's $10 then by all means it's $10.

    Though, seriously, this seems like it can only be a good thing. I wonder if microsoft will ever consider licencing the underlying kinect technology so it can be remodelled into more use-specific hardware configurations?

      Absolutely. It's just another example of what we've seen with the many, MANY great Kinect "hacks" - the tech is fantastic, but it seems to be much more suited to non-gaming applications than it is to gaming.

    Privacy? It still has an actual camera!

    It doesn't only capture sillouettes.

    Interesting. They could use the voice recognition to call for assistance, too.

    "I've fallen and I can't get up!"

    "Sorry, we don't currently support your accent. You will be able to call for medical assistance next year sometime. Maybe. While you wait, please enjoy these advertisements."

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