news\ Dec 20, 2012 at 1:48 am

Kinect aims to help returning combat veterans with in-home physical therapy


Despite Kinect’s lackluster gaming performance since it’s highlighted release in 2010, much has been done elsewhere to utilize the fantastic piece of hardware. From surgery assistance to helping kids learn sign language, there’s no denying that folks have found a place for Microsoft’s peripheral. Today, though, may just mark the coolest use for Kinect. According to Defense News, the U.S. military and Microsoft are working together to develop a new physical therapy routine for returning veterans using Kinect’s body recognition.

The report insists that the U.S. Air Force and the Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center are working diligently with Microsoft to finalize software that’ll allow veterans at-home physical therapy. This alone is fine and dandy, but what the development really brings to the table is the cutting of physical therapy costs for these heroes. Instead, they’ll now be able to heal in the comfort of their own homes.

"Microsoft is committing R&D and marketing resources to ensure that the [Defense Department] community is aware of the capabilities of the product, as well as the breadth of our partner community, which includes the system integrators,” said Phil West, Microsoft’s director of public sector solutions. “The targeted scenarios include therapy-related functions, but they also span training and simulation, interactive user interfaces, and so on.”

There’s no word on when the software will be officially rolled out for use, but the ReMotion360 physical therapy software developed by Infostrat is said to be far ahead of expectations, and already being put to use in development. Microsoft believes this is only the beginning as well. The company is looking into face-to-face therapy for soldiers via Kinect’s camera. According to West, this will allow therapists to say, “I know who you are because I have your case file. No one else in the room has to see in your face. It gives a way to engage and talk through problems while preserving anonymity.”

Kinect Physical Therapy

Once again, it’s amazing to see how the world is using a piece of equipment that we once thought was only gaming-related. Where else would you like to see Kinect in every day life? Let us know by commenting below.

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Tate Steinlage I write words about video games and sports. Hope you like them.
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