Kinect looks to replace your mouse with your fists

Microsoft is showing off updated Kinect features at TechFest this week, allowing people to use hand gestures to replace a mouse.

Microsoft's Kinect.
Microsoft's Kinect Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Microsoft's Kinect might eventually reduce your reliance on the mouse.

At Microsoft's TechFest this week at its headquarters in Redmond, Microsoft is showing off an update to its software development kit that will allow developers to add more hand-gesture functionality to their programs. According to The Verge, which tried out the hand detection, the technology allows users to pinch-to-zoom with their hands and pan around the screen. All of that is done by simply waving and clenching their hands in front of the Kinect.

Microsoft's Kinect was first delivered to gamers by connecting it to the Xbox 360. However, the technology was quickly brought to the PC and its SDK opened to developers, allowing them to take advantage of the technology. Over the last couple of years, Microsoft has improved the SDK to make it more useful to developers.

This latest update might be one of the most interesting yet. The technology essentially turns a person's hands into a mouse or touchpad. The update relies upon recognizing a person making a fist, and then based on what it does with that fist, reacts. Microsoft also showed off a game, called Jetpack Joyride, that shows how the gesture can control movement from within the title.

Microsoft's SDK updated will be rolled out in the next few weeks. For now, it'll only be available on Windows Kinect.

 

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