Business | Features

Kinect gets your heart thumping

Forget about sitting in a sedentary position and moving thumbs, fingers and wrists for ten hours straight

  • By Derek BaldwinBusiness Features Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 January 22, 2011
  • Gulf News

Kinect controller
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Kinect controller, bottom, for the Xbox 360 game console

There have always been advertising slogans that prove very popular but offer very little substance.

And then a business slogan comes along touting a new product that not only captures the very essence of a product but also faithfully delivers on its promise to consumers.

Such is the case with, "You are the controller", the oft-cited phrase used to sum up the experience of the new hands-free Kinect controller by Xbox 360.

I recently bought the Kinect for Dh699 here in Dubai to plug in to my Xbox gaming machine that has essentially been a dust collector since I bought it last year.

I played it for a couple of hours in my living room, leaning and jumping for all I was worth amid my first immersion into the hands-free gaming world.

I didn't need a hand controller because the new Kinect technology can perform full-motion tracking of the human body at 30 frames per second — the sensors track 48 points from the human body from three cameras located on the face of the device.

I rarely gush about any new piece of technology but in this case I loved everything Kinect had to offer.

In fact, it may very well be one of the most user-friendly gadgets I've ever used.

After removing it from the packaging, I plugged a couple of cables into the Xbox, slipped in the game disc and turned the machine on.

Within less than a minute, the Kinect sensors had identified me as a player and with a wave of my hand, I was white water rafting down a tropical river and steering my rubber raft by moving my entire body either left or right.

To capture coins hanging in the air for points, I jumped high into the air.

I went on to play another game in which I plugged leaks with my hands and feet in a virtual underwater glass box requiring serious agility and flexibility.

Another mountain obstacle game also pushed the limits of my physical capabilities as I rode the rails dodging and ducking inflatable obstacles in my way.

In other words, I was breaking into a serious sweat for long periods of time, but because I was focused on playing the game, it never occurred to me that Kinect was also providing me with a very serious physical workout.

Forget about sitting in a sedentary position and moving thumbs, fingers and wrists for ten hours straight — Kinect commands players to get their hearts thumping.

Pros

1.) Extremely user friendly set-up

2.) Very easy intuitive games

3.) Captivating engaging game play

4.) Physical exercise

5.) Multi-user fun for whole family

Cons

1.) Can't play too close to TV

2.) Games can crash in middle of play

3.) More games needed

4.) Clicking icons with hand difficult

5.) Not couch-potato friendly

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