The Kinect sensor provides a genuinely new way for a computer to make some sense of the world around it. The fusion of a camera, a directional microphone system, and a depth sensor into a single, mass-market device provides an opportunity for software developers to advance the field of computer interaction in all kinds of exciting ways.

It is now possible to create programs that use the Kinect sensor to create a computer interface with the ability to recognize users and understand their intentions using a “natural” user interface consisting of gestures and spoken commands. In addition, the device’s capabilities have a huge range of possible applications, from burglar alarms to robot controllers.

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