The skeletal recognition tech behind Kinect is useful for way more than just gaming. It's good for sign language, cheating at pool, and (duh) porn. But it could help stop violence, too. Thanks to Kinect, security cams could automatically know if they're witnessing a beat-down.
Kintense, a system designed by Shahriar Nirjon and colleagues at the University of Virginia, uses Kinect's skeletal tracking and an algorithm with an eye for punches and kicks to tell if folks on camera are in the middle of a scuffle. And while it was originally intended to alert medical staff to patients who are acting out violently, it could easily be put to use in security cams just about anywhere that a little rough-and-tumble action might break out.
So far, the system is particular good at detecting kicks (to the balls and otherwise), but is getting better at spotting more "subtle" moves like face-punches and body-slams. Of course none of this is going to prevent alleyway fight club action, but it could make it way easier to spot, even if security cam operators are asleep on the job. Particularly scathing verbal attacks are still undetectable. Time to practice up on your hurtiest insults. [New Scientist via Animal]