Hackers at the famous MIT Media Lab have built an open-source Chrome browser extension that uses the Microsoft gesture-based controller Kinect to navigate around tabs and Web pages. The group says the end result is like the movie Minority Report and that seems like a fair comparison.
Called DepthJS, the software is on GitHub and open for collaboration. Check out the video above. It looks pretty good. Some of the gestures appear more dramatic than I would want to use to navigate the Web with, but perhaps that will change in time. If a gesture-based interface could capture text input as well, that would be even cooler. Cursor motion alone, however, is all it takes to evoke a vision of the future in which Kinect-like devices are used to control all kinds of Web-connected devices.
Kinect was intended as an interface for the XBox gaming console alone, but developers have made fast work at leveraging its technology in service of experiences beyond gaming. Aaron Zinman, a PhD candidate at MIT, said tonight on Twitter that the project is aimed to be available for other browsers in the near future.
- Open source gesture based computing (downes.ca)
- Browsing the Web with a wave of the hand (news.cnet.com)
- Kinect hacks: Use Kinect to navigate the web, resize koalas (joystiq.com)
- Kinect hack lets you control a web browser using only The Force (engadget.com)