Kinect Hacked to Teach Sign Language: Sign Sign Revolution Anyone?
December 21st, 2010
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 add-on has been a hit not just with gamers but with modders and hackers as well. While only a few of its launch games are truly unique and imaginative – Dance Central and Kinectimals come to mind – more and more people are discovering a variety of non-gaming related purposes for Kinect, from rendering a person invisible to controlling drones. Zahoor Zafrulla and his colleagues at Georgia Tech College of Computing have found another possible use for Kinect, hacking it to help teach American Sign Language to deaf children.
This time though, Zafrulla and his team are actually working on a game, which they call CopyCat. In fact they were working on it even before Kinect came out, but back then they had to make do with accelerometers mounted on gloves. The Kinect’s advanced skeleton-detecting features allowed them to ditch the gloves and continue working on more complicated American Sign Language gestures. Here’s a look at the hack:
Those are promising results. Also, Zafrulla and company’s choice of phrases were spot on. Wouldn’t you want your kid to warn you if there was an alligator behind the wall? Check out Kinect Hacks for more info on CopyCat. All these uses for the Kinect made me wonder if anyone’s hacking the PlayStation Move as well. I think they’re perfect for teaching aircraft marshalling.