The depth-sensing capabilities of the Microsoft's Kinect has seen it put to use in a number of unexpected applications, such as helping Parkinson's sufferers to walk and the visually impaired to practice yoga. Scientists now claim to have expanded the applications for the gaming technology to include a more precise approach to X-ray imaging, which they say can limit exposure to radiation by measuring the thickness of a subject's body parts.
MIT researchers have developed a way to replace complex, expensive medical imaging equipment with much less expensive consumer equipment and a little bit of fancy math. The technique uses technology like the Microsoft Kinect paired with sophisticated mathematical modeling to perform the same tasks as a US$100,000 lab microscope.
It may be an overused proverb, but it's a good one: "Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand."
That's the definitely the thinking behind Virtual Dementia Experience, a
virtual reality system created by four multimedia graduates from
Australia's Swinburne University. It provides caregivers with an
interactive simulation of what it's like to suffer from dementia, so
they can better understand what their patients are experiencing.
Most will be familiar with the telltale shaking of Parkinson's disease, but that isn't the only symptom sufferers must endure. They must also contend with what is known as Freezing of Gait (FOG), where the sufferer's muscles can freeze mid-stride, making them feel like their feet are glued to the ground or resulting in them falling over. Researchers at Brunel University London have hacked a Kinect sensor to overcome this.