In November 2010, Microsoft released Kinect, a motion-sensing accessory for its Xbox 360 gaming console. Kinect could measure depth by sending out thousands of small infrared dots to create a 3-D map of a room, and its microphones could pinpoint sound in space. Such hardware would not be confined to gesture-based videogames. Within a few days, engineers strapped the $150 device onto a robot vacuum and wired the machines together to allow the robot to see and hear. For developers and hackers, Kinect's promise proved irresistible (and affordable): It could give machines sense. And in the seven months following its release, the device inspired a flurry of development as it became a tool for art, leisure (see "lounge chair" and "channel surfing"), work (for checking e-mail or assisting in surgery) and even play (Tetris in augmented reality).
December 5, 2010: Sighted quadrocopter
Researchers at Hybrid Systems Laboratory, at the University of California at Berkeley, mounted a Kinect on a quad-rotor UAV. Kinect continually mapped the copter's surroundings, allowing it to avoid obstacles automatically.
January 18, 2011: Surgical equipment
Researchers at the University of Washington wrote code to connect a surgical robot to a Kinect. Kinect made a detailed, live-updating 3-D scan of patients, which the robot could use to better perform operations.
January 24, 2011: Holography
Using Kinect's infrared sensor to build a 3-D model, Massachusetts Institute of Technology students projected holograms at 15 frames per second to reenact Princess Leia's plea for help.
February 3, 2011: Draw-a-button
Robotics engineer Garratt Gallagher created an interface in which Kinect recognizes buttons drawn on a piece of white paper in black pen, and it detects when someone presses them.
February 21, 2011: Video camera
Music-video director Dan Melamid used Kinect processing software to shoot Clipse's "Come N Get It." The video is filled with "point clouds" and trippy color blocks thanks to the machine's motion-capture system.
it wasn't a good invention because you can go to walmart and buy a wii + it has better games than kinect
That's the equivalent of saying Edison’s light bulb was a bad invention because Christmas lights are prettier...
It's very interesting how the technology that started as an imaging device for an entertainment system has been adapted and led to so much more.