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Aussie airports to use Kinect instead of 'nude' scanners

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority is considering using Microsoft's Kinect motion sensor technology rather than controversial "nude" body scanners.

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is considering using Microsoft's Kinect motion sensor technology rather than controversial "nude" body scanners in security checkpoints in many International airport terminals across the country.

New firmware for Kinect can detect "jiggling" beneath clothing. (Credit: Microsoft/CBSi)

America's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has come under heavy criticism for its use of x-ray scanners during routine airport security checks, a move many travellers feel is an invasion of privacy. CASA feels that Microsoft's Kinect sensors could offer a new way to scan for harmful objects without revealing a person's private information.

"We've heard the objections raised by many travellers and we are assessing alternative technologies," said Tad Phacecius, spokesperson for CASA. "Security will always be our top priority, but we realised there was no reason not to bring a bit of fun into the process."

The Kinect motion controller would be used to detect the presence of foreign objects under a traveller's clothing by detecting unnatural movement when a person performs a set routine of movement, which could include star jump exercises, jumping over an imaginary bar or dancing to "Funky Town".

"Microsoft has shown us new, advanced sensor tech which can detect bulges and unnatural jiggling beneath a person's clothes," said Phacecius.

This new, more sensitive Kinect firmware can estimate the length, girth and weight of a foreign object, allowing it to decipher between a dangerous object, such as a gun, and something innocuous like a chocolate bar.

Update: Yes, April fools was indeed among us. Although jumping through virtual hoops might be more enjoyable than the other ones international airports put in front of us.