Kinect and Xbox brings biometrics home


Xbox’s new Kinect device uses facial recognition and infrared sensors - a novel way to log onto a game and what could catalyst for more widespread biometric use at home.

A video game console now greets returning gamers by name – not because they entered a username and password, but because the new Kinect device “recognizes” them as they step in front of their television sets.

Kinect is a peripheral to Microsoft’s gaming console, the Xbox 360. Using sensors including a visible-light camera, an infrared-based depth sensor and an array of microphones, the Kinect serves as a wireless “remote control” for Xbox games. By tracking the movement of the person playing a game, the Kinect translates real-life motions into on-screen movements. Microsoft has sold more than 2.5 million of the devices to date.

Kinect doesn’t just serve as a game play device. It has also branched into the world of identification, bringing biometrics into millions of homes worldwide.

Introducing the biometrics technology in a lower-stakes environment with repeated exposure, especially to younger people, and in environments with such rich interaction and rewards-based actions, may just pave the way for a wider acceptance in areas earlier thought off limits.

Read the full story  about how Xbox and Kinnect brings biometrics to home, on Futurelab, with an interview with, among others, David Myers, professor in the School of Mass Communication at Loyola University New Orleans and author of the book The Nature of Computer Games.