Microsoft Kinecting with the US military
December 19, 2012 // 8:52 a.m.
Microsoft is testing a therapy system for injured soldiers that uses its Kinect motion sensing technology.
The package will allow veterans to carry out physical therapy exercises at home, reducing the need for them to visit a medical facility. There appears to be a particular focus on the PC version due to its stronger facial recognition.
Microsoft is working with the US Air Force to build a set of specifications and will work with the Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center.
The military system would use the ReMotion360 physical therapy software developed by Infostrat and will use the same hardware and software and regular consumers. ReMotion 360 asks users to copy the positions of a stick figure skeleton, using the Kinect hardware to scan and check the user's body.
As a recovery tool, the $200 price tag for the device as well as any extra cost for a PC is a highly attractive aspect as it is far cheaper than regular hospital visits.
Microsoft has been attempting to bring the Kinect to a wider audience outside of the consumer market. Several other military divisions have also considered adapting the Kinect device for their own purposes.
'Microsoft is committing R&D and marketing resources to ensure that the community is aware of the capabilities of the product, as well as the breadth of our partner community, which includes the system integrators,' Microsoft director of public sector solutions Phil West told Defense News.
Scenarios covered by the system could also span training and simulation. Microsoft is also looking into how the Kinect could be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder through anonymous group therapy sessions.