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Kinect can now be used as a 3D scanner

Microsoft’s Kinect motion tracking camera wasn’t quite up to spec when it was first released, but its functionality has improved over the past couple of years, with regular SDK updates. The latest one that showed up today, 1.7, implements Fusion – a 3D scanning technique – and Kinect Interactions, which adds new recognised gestures.

Announced on the Kinect for Windows blog, the director Bob Heddle, discussed how this update makes the Kinect the cheapest 3D scanning tool in the world. “Kinect Fusion fuses (see what he did there?) together multiple snapshots from the Kinect for Windows sensor to create accurate, full, 3D models. Developers can move a Kinect for Windows sensor around a person, object, or environment and ‘paint’ a 3D image of the person or thing in real time.”

Fusion
Combined with a 3D printer, this tech could be very interesting

It’s expected that the scanning ability of the Kinect will improve as third party tools emerge to take advantage of the tech. Chances are when Kinect 2.0 is released later this year with the next-Xbox, that we’ll also see a bump in abilities – though chances are it won’t just be for scanning.

The new gestures now tracked as part of Kinect Interactions, includes: push to press buttons, grip to pan capabilities and a slew of two person gestures and interactions that can all be tracked. The idea is that these new recognitions, will allow store owners and other outlets to make use of the Kinect in innovative ways in the “real world.”

KitGuru Says: Good to see Kinect improving. Add in that eye tracking feature and it’s far and beyond what it was originally intended for, as a Wiimote competitor.

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