Forget Wii Fit: Play Full-Body Tetris Instead

Intel’s research blog has an intriguing post about technology that could let you play Tetris using your entire body — not just your thumbs — thanks to some real-time motion capture gesture recognition work and tons of extra processing power.

The Intel research team in Pittsburgh has come up with a way to capture a user’s motion gestures without expensive accessories:

Unlike typical approaches to gesture detection that employ props, special clothing/markers (motion capture systems) or a controlled environment (such as a blue screen), the Intel approach is designed to work in everyday environments and does not require users to be segmented from the background.

Other, less fun ways of using this technology could be expanding touchscreen interaction beyond actually touching or offering realistic simulation training. Samsung is looking at gestures as a mobile phone interface as well. Intel’s interest in the technology is that it requires many (hopefully Intel) processors running in a cluster to process all the motion and background data fast enough for a computer to read the gestures and make it feel interactive.

To me, it’s a sneak peak into a world beyond the Wii, and it reinforces the truth that if you give people more speed or power, they’ll come up with some pretty cool applications to use it. That’s something to consider when encountering those who argue against many cored processors or all-fiber broadband.

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