Whether it’s impressing your friends with your new dance moves or getting in a quick game of beach volleyball from the comfort of your living room, Xbox Kinect has changed the way we think of gaming. But natural user interfaces have the potential to change the game in public safety and national security as well, and Singapore is putting that theory to the test.
Specifically, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been exploring the use of Kinect to push the boundaries of border control and public safety. Because Kinect’s unique depth sensors can pick up information that optical cameras can’t - like whether or not someone is hiding behind tinted windows in a car - MHA came up with several proof of concept applications to show how Kinect could help defend borders and protect public safety.
Joan Liu of MHA spoke at the last Microsoft Public Safety Symposium about Kinect’s potential uses for public safety. The 8-minute video is packed with demonstrations of how Kinect can be used to protect citizens, including its ability to pick up potential threats with its full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities.
Another application we are seeing for Kinect is in improving biometrics scanning. Traditional biometrics scanners are easily fooled by high-quality photographs, but Kinect’s advanced sensors and near-IR technology help it see past the forgery and raise the alarm in real time.
In terms of perimeter protection, Kinect has the power to build a virtual fence around critical borders, detecting unusual border crossings, identifying if someone is hiding in a corner, or carrying a weapon.
The possibilities seem endless. Stay tuned for the next great Kinect story!
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