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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Xbox Kinect- What is it and why is it a big deal?

Every Christmas brings a whole new crop of electronic gizmos and gee-whiz things that go beep. Kids will beg and plead their parents for these things and that means it will be up to Mom and Dad to translate all of these new and strange words into something to get for placing under the tree come December.

Today's tech word of the day is "Kinect".

This is an add-on to the Xbox that allows truly no-hands control of games and other Xbox functions.

It's hard to tell here, but the Kinect is about the size of
small book.
(credit: Microsoft)
Looking like a thin, black bar on a nondescript plastic stand, the Kinect's technology is truly remarkable. It can sense your movements and gestures in a 3D space. In other words it "knows" when you move your arm, leg or body in a backward, forward, up, down and all otherways motion.

It can also recognize voice commands so if you're watching a movie on the Xbox (an Xbox can play either a DVD or stream Netflix) a simple "pause" or "play" command will cause the Xbox to do just that. In games, you might tell a character to duck or run.

However, this is one of those cases where seeing will explain more than I can tell you. Go the to Microsoft Xbox site here to see a video about what the hub bub is all about.

Go on! Get moving!

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