Taking Apart the Microsoft Kinect

The Microsoft Kinect is the first consumer product that lets people control an interface using gesture and voice alone. An add-on for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video-game console, the sensor-packed device can determine your position and interpret vocal commands, all without requiring you to hold any special controllers or wear special clothing. At $150 retail, it is a relatively inexpensive way to try a next-generation interface. You might, for example, play Dance Central, a movement game made by Harmonix that teaches dance moves, watches how well you perform them, and tracks how many calories you burn during a play session.