Kinect for xBox marries Robotics and Da Vinci. We are hurdling concurrently towards “a future age”, and one area of technology seems not only underdeveloped but also, to put it practically; disappointing.
Robotics as a whole is obviously consistently undergoing radical and amazing feats, but as a standard citizen of the world, I see very little of these advances in my day to day life. Sure, the Roomba is undeniably awesome, but where is the future I always imagined?
So I was pretty excited this morning, while reading a Wired article, by Jason Tanz, titled “Kinect Hackers Are Changing the Future of Robotics”.
For those of you who don’t know, Kinect is a camera that basically gets rid of the need for a controller. With Kinect, instead of sitting on the couch and using a game controller, the Kinect device tracks your physical body movements and you use yourself to control whatever game your playing.
Tanz writes; when “Microsoft released the Kinect for Xbox 360, a $150 add-on…roboticists saw something else entirely: an affordable, lightweight camera that could capture 3-D images in real time.” Although this may not be a big deal to you and me, individuals who enjoy experimenting, DIYing, inventing, hacking or whatever you’d like to call it; got pretty damn excited, to say the least. Kinect presented itself, not only as a cheap source of vital but conventionally complex robotics hardware, but also as a paradigm shift in the technology world.
Traditionally, developers and large technology companies weren’t the happiest campers, to find their devices ripped asunder and completely altered, to serve some ulterior purposes, but as Xbox general manager Alex Kipman says, Microsoft is really “trying to usher in…a world of tomorrow.”
This is extremely exciting for the world of robotics in particular and for the world as a whole, as Microsoft is encouraging this “mod-nation” behavior and recognizes that to make it to the future, “it’s going to take a lot of people—from within Microsoft as well as outside it.”
One of my favorite artists and philosophers is Leonardo Da Vinci. Both because of his astounding imagination and creativity, as well as his extremely wide range of interests, Da Vinci is a deep inspiration. Combining his two main predilections, Da Vinci says; “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
Well Leonardo, you’d be glad to know that Microsoft hears you, and is allowing the world to stick with “art” so we can progress and make sure that it’s indeed, “never finished.”
Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and SheBytes.com in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and SheBytes.com. Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market. Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his About.me.