Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

One of the most popular videos is of a 3-D interactive puppet. “It’s fun, it’s intuitive, and it’s something that would be really hard to do without this inexpensive, off-the-shelf component. As you bring down the barriers, people have room to get creative.”

MIT’s Fritz is quick to note that three-dimensional, natural user interface computing using gestural recognition and depth sensors has been in play in the research community for years. The Kinect is a breakthrough device in terms of packaging and implementing these technologies for consumers. The more familiar users become with it, the more likely they are to translate it to spheres beyond gaming.

“The keyboard and the mouse aren’t going anywhere, but there is a lot of space for something more, and I think people are ready for that,” Fritz says.

But any effort to translate gestures to the screen inevitably bumps into the fact that we’re still three-dimensional beings trying to interact with a two-dimensional world. Most Kinect games solve this problem by matching us with an onscreen avatar who imitates our movements. Whether we’re dancing, playing volleyball, or whitewater rafting, the characters on the screen perform a stylized version of our movements offscreen.

One solution could be to use light projectors to create virtual objects in real space that we can interact with. Microsoft Research has already taken steps in this direction with Mobile Surface, a projector-based multitouch environment.

3 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: MIT Media Lab

Tagged: Computing, Microsoft, Kinect, gesture interface

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me