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Kinect tech used in Microsoft's 'smart home'

When everyone else out there is using Kinect to experiment with virtual reality and build quadrocopters, you may be asking yourself why Microsoft has stuck to using the technology for Kinectimals. Turns out 'ol MS has been playing around behind the scenes... check out what it's been cooking up:

For years, Microsoft has had a "smart home" at its corporate campus. It's usually a testing ground for ideas or concepts that most of us have never seen or need in real life - like a microwave that uses a UPC scanner to determine how to perfectly cook your can of Campbell's tomato soup.

Now, Kinect has been added to the mix in the form of huge video walls. In a tour with a reporter from the UK's Channel 4, Microsoft's Jonathan Cluts revealed how, with the flick of a hand and some basic voice recognition, the entire room can change.

Virtual wallpapers can be customized, lighting can be adjusted to pre-programmed settings, and other "room apps" can be launched, all without the need for a remote control other than your body. Well, that is, except for the team of expert engineers who had to program the virtual wall and set up the tour.

Feb 9, 2011