That's right, the Kinect is graduating from helping harmless geeks get YouTube hits to helping real doctors make life-or-death decisions.
UW's The Dailyreports today that a group of grad students there have hacked the Kinect to aid in robotic surgical operations.
The method involves using the Kinect--an array of cameras and sensors that allow video-game users to control their Xbox 360s with their bodies--to give surgeons force feedback when using tools to perform robotic surgery.
Essentially the students are using Kinect's scanners to help give robot-operating doctors a sense of "touch" when using their machines.
As Howard Chizeck, UW professor of electrical engineering, explains it:
"For robotics-assisted surgeries, the surgeon has no sense of touch right now. What we're doing is using that sense of touch to give information to the surgeon, like 'You don't want to go here.'"
Electrical engineering grad student Fredrik Ryden apparently wrote a code that uses the Kinect to map a patient's body, then cordon off areas where the machines shouldn't go.
Similar data is usually gathered via a CT scan.
Ryden says that the devices will have to be modified and their sensitivity increased before they'll be viable for hospital use. But don't worry, doctors will be switching from a Call of Duty tournament to your appendectomy in no time.
Just curious, does anyone use their Kinect to play games anymore?