Japanese scientists finally find a use for Kinect


As well as a use for a bathtub!

Ever sit in a hot bath and think "I could be playing a videogame right now if it weren't for all this water!"?

No? I didn't think so, but Japanese scientists are happy to give you the option to do just that thing, and using the power of Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox peripheral. The motion sensor may not have made much of a splash as a game controller, but Glorious Nippon has a history of some pretty awesome alternative uses for it.  

Scientists from the Koike Laboratory at Tokyo's University of Electro-communications have developed the AquaTop Display, which combines the Kinect, a special light projector, submerged LEDs and speakers, and common bath water made opaque to create a true "immersive" display method.

And despite some rough edges, the concept looks pretty amazing. Users can interact with the AquaTop by placing their hands in the water, pushing around objects projected onto the water, or even sinking their hands and poking them back out to be detected by the Kinect sensor and used as "augmented reality"-style elements. They even made a rudimentary shooting game out of it, using a rubber ducky as the final boss.

I guess the future isn't just limited to our more common visions of touch screens and sci-fi "floating" holographic projections. That said, I figure they might want to solve the whole issue of having to get wet to compute before taking the AquaTop to the mass market.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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