Kinect, Korean Knight

Kinect, Microsoft’s motion sensor, has been used for many cool things outside gaming, including a Minority Report-style hand detection. There’s even a community built around Kinect’s alternative applications, Kinect Hacks.

However, in South Korea they have taken the endeavor one step further, and now the Korean military is using Kinect sensors to monitor the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which separates North Korea and South Korea.

DON'T move!

DON’T MOVE! Unless you’re playing Fruit Ninja Kinect. In that case, go on.

Thanks to the programmer Jae Kwan Ko‘s efforts, the Kinect-based system can discern the difference between animals and people, alerting nearby outposts if a human is detected crossing the border illegally. Although it was installed in August, its existence wasn’t publicly known until now.

According to Ko, the system will be upgraded with heart rate and heat detection. I hope they don’t wait too much to add that; if not, how are they going to spot border crossing vampires?

Source: The Verge


Combining gaming with speed cameras

Or, in other words, can we get more people to obey the speed limit by making it fun to do? That’s what the Swedish National Society for Road Safety tried to answer.

It isn’t a scientific study, but it’s a start!

What happens when Obama buys your game for Christmas?

Basically, it becomes a phenomenom.

The first Just Dance was launched in December 2009. Despite the skepticism around its dance-centric proposal (and some bad reviews), it slowly climbed its way to the top of the charts, thanks to word-of-mouth.

However, what sent its brand awareness through the roof happened in December 2011, when Barack Obama was photographed buying a copy of Just Dance 3 for the Wii, as a Christmas gift for his daughters. That single event helped catapult mainstream recognition, as Xavier Poix, Managing Director at Ubisoft Paris, said in an interview with IGN:

My first thought was that our PR in the U.S. must be really good, but no, I was thinking: now we’re universal. The image that we wanted to convey with the game, the spirit of it, really worked. The president, in front of 80 cameras, can think, ‘I’m not making a mistake in showing that I love this game.’ It is so simple and positive that nobody could object. We’re very proud of that.

“Can I play it with my suit on?”

Now, 4 years after its first launch and 2 years after the Obama photo, Just Dance is one of the most successful series in the world, having sold around 50 million units (more than Pac-Man or Tomb Raider, to name a few).

Source: IGN via The Escapist.